Custom Orthotics vs. Generic Insoles

By Kevin M. Wong

One of the biggest challenges I have found over the last 25 years with being an extremity-based doctor is the general lack of public knowledge regarding the feet and how they affect the rest of the body. Starting from a very young age, we are not properly taught about our anatomy and how different body parts work with and affect each other. This comes into play when incorporating the use of orthotics into patient care.

When patients need medical care, the majority of them will begin with allopathic medicine. This is because they believe that pain is the indicator of when to seek treatment.  It’s common to only treat the pain of conditions like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and Achilles tendonitis, rather than identifying and correcting the foot/arch dysfunction and biomechanical problems that are their underlying cause. Interestingly enough, many patients with faulty foot biomechanics live their lives without having any foot pain at all. However, in my experience I have seen that upwards of 87% of all human beings in a standing posture exhibit signs of flat or pronating feet that that can lead to pain and disfunction in the knees, hips, pelvis, neck, and spine. Even common conditions like shin splints and sprained ankles can stem from unhealthy foot function. read more