Why You Don't Need Orthotics and What You Can Do To Walk, Run, And Move With Less Foot and Knee Pain

Orthotics are one of the most commonly asked questions in the clinic when it comes to to treating foot and knee pain. You’ve probably even been prescribed orthotics at some point in your life to treat foot, ankle, knee, or even hip pain.

The biggest myth in the manual therapy world is that orthotics ‘fix’ foot, knee and hip pain. While they provide short term relief allowing you to live with a problem - they always fail to provide the long term results that will keep you active - regardless of what shoes you’re wearing. Lets look at the reason orthotics are commonly prescribed and learn how that fails to solve the actual problem.

  1. Why Were you Prescribed or Recommended Orthotics?

    This one is easy. Most likely because you have foot, knee or hip pain and the doctor decided that you have no support in your foot and that is the cause of your pain.

  2. What Do Orthotics Do?

    Orthotics provide a passive support of the foot. They contour to your foot and help support your arch.

  3. But Isn’t Providing Support For Our Feet a Good Thing?

    Yes - but by providing only passive support - orthotics fails to correct the underlying problem. The alignment and strength issues of the feet that lead to foot, ankle, knee and hip pain are still there and will continue to contribute to your pain.

    Orthotics are a crutch. Allowing you to live with a problem without actually correcting it. They provide support so our muscles, joints, ligaments don’t have to. Is that really the solution you want? What happens when you don’t wear your orthotics? Guess what? The pain comes back.

  4. So What Can You Do Instead of Orthotics?

For Long Term, Sustainable Results That Carry Over in To Your Active Lifestyle Here Are a Few Things You Could be Doing Instead of Orthotics

  1. Correct Toes

    Instead of Orthotics - We prescribe Correct Toes. A natural way to restore proper alignment of our feet and begin building proper support for our feet.

  2. Strengthen The Intrinsic Muscles Of Your Foot

    Our body should have the ability to support itself without the use of passive supports. Wearing shoes all day the shoes do provide most of the support so the small intrinsic muscles of the foot don’t have to work - becoming weak and contributing to pain.

  3. Lower Extremity Strength Programming

    Building strength, control, and coordination of the entire low extremity helps control how we load our feet and prevents over pronation which heavily contributes to foot and knee pain.


At Evolve Performance Healthcare we’ve helped 100’s of runners and other active adults overcome lower extremity pain without needing to rely on passive support like orthotics. A recent runner came in with shin splints that were limiting his ability to train for the World Marathon Challenge - commiting to a plan of manual therapy and strength training he successfully completed 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continenets with no shin splint of foot pain (besides blisters!).

If You’re Interested In Returning To Your Active Lifestyle and Have Questions about your specific case. Request a time to Speak With One of Our Specialists For Free.