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Can Orthotics and Insoles Cause More Pain and Problems?

It's normal for orthotics to be uncomfortable at first, but is it possible for them to actually cause more pain and further problems?

Joel Taylor
By Joel Taylor
Taj Schlebusch
Reviewed by Taj Schlebusch

Published July 31, 2021.

Orthotics are designed to fix errors in your feet, the severity of which can range from minor heel pain to total realignment of foot positioning. When you obtain a new pair, it's normal to experience some discomfort at first. However, some people experience this discomfort for much longer periods of time.

This begs the question of whether orthotics can potentially do more harm than good.

Orthotics Are Not Perfect

It is definitely possible for errors to arise when designing and building a new pair of orthotics for a specific patient's condition. However, if you experience pain and discomfort longer than the recommended 3-week break-in period, it could mean one of two things:

  1. You were incorrectly diagnosed.
  2. Your orthotics were incorrectly manufactured.

If either of these two instances turns out to be true, then a podiatrist needs to either reassess the diagnosis with more examinations or readjust your orthotics. Continuing to wear them could absolutely cause more pain and problems.

Be Wary of Self Diagnosing

Many people are afraid of seeking professional medical help, either out of an unwillingness to pay the cost or due to other fears. As such, people tend to think that they can figure out what's best for them and devise their own form of treatment.

This might work in minor instances, such as needing a little extra support during strenuous exercise, but could be dangerous in severe conditions. Chronic pain, for example, could be caused by a number of other, unobvious conditions, and would need the proper treatment.

By self-diagnosing and treating with premade orthotics, you run the risk of missing the mark and potentially worsening your condition.

Trust in Your Doctor

In conclusion, if you feel that your orthotics are causing more problems than they're solving, you have the liberty of letting your podiatrist know and figuring out a better solution. Failure to do so could hurt you in the long run.

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