Are you suffering from arch pain? If so, you may have considered soft orthotics.
Soft orthotics have become a popular solution for individuals with a range of different conditions. They are made with cushioning materials and offer a gentle yet effective approach to relieving foot pain and proper foot alignment.
Today, we talk about some of the reasons you may use soft orthotics and the kinds of conditions they can be used to treat. We encounter these questions quite frequently in the clinic and so we think it would be worthwhile to spend some time on this topic.
Soft orthotics vs Rigid orthotics
Orthotics span a whole spectrum of hardness. Soft orthotics and rigid orthotics serve distinct purposes. They are each used for an assortment of conditions.
Soft orthotics—Soft orthotics are typically made of foam or gel. They provide shock absorption, cushioning, and support to the feet. They are generally more flexible and mouldable to the shape of the foot.
Rigid orthotics—Rigid orthotics are commonly made of firm materials like plastic or carbon fiber. They have little to no flexibility and are often custom-made based on precise foot measurements. Due to their rigidity, these may take some time to get used to and may feel less comfortable initially.
What are soft orthotics used for?
Soft orthotics are usually recommended for use in cases of:
- Arch pain—Arch pain is most commonly caused by shoes with inadequate support or standing and walking for long periods. Keeping the arches elevated can help keep you comfortable.
- Heel pain—Heel pain often accompanies arch pain. Cushioning the heel can significantly enhance comfort and stability. For individuals who overpronate, deep heel cups and heel counters can often provide pain relief quickly.
- Plantar fasciitis—By supporting the heels and arches, soft orthotics allow the plantar fascia to rest and heal.
- Diabetic foot care—Soft orthotics reduce pressure points and promote proper alignment. They help prevent ulcers which diabetic patients are at a higher risk for.
- General foot fatigue—Even if you don’t have a specific foot condition, soft orthotics can be beneficial. They can alleviate general foot fatigue and improve overall foot function.
Soft orthotics won’t fix everything
Using soft orthotics is just one part of the equation. They are not a cure-all. It is equally crucial to pair them with well-fitting shoes. We recommend reputable brands like ASICS, Brooks, or Ergonx Elements work boots. They are known for their exceptional amount of support.
Soft orthotics primarily focus on managing symptoms rather than fully treating the root cause of a foot condition. Furthermore, every person’s foot structure is different. In some cases, custom orthotics may be more effective at correcting foot biomechanics and easing foot pain.
As with any health condition, consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, will ensure an accurate diagnosis. It will also help you arrive at an approximate management regime that will complement your lifestyle and goals.
We are happy to answer any other questions you have about soft orthotics and arch pain! Reach out to us at ergonx.com/au if you would also like to learn more about footwear and overall foot health!