I’d like to restate the same important message that I originally stated in Part One of this article, and that is –

I do not use orthotics.

I was originally trained as a podiatric surgeon and used orthotic therapy for a number of years.  But after

Do You Have Questions On Orthotics? Part Two

using orthotics on hundreds of patients and watching these same patients return again and again with the same problems, I realized that I needed to find a better way to restore their health. So I started developing better techniques to treat my patients and as a result, completely stopped using orthotics by 1992. I no longer advocate using orthotics to treat chronic muscle and joint pain.

That being said, if your physician is treating you with orthotics, you may have questions on their use. Here are more of my answers to your questions.


Professor /Dr. Brian A. Rothbart Answers Your Questions About Orthotics

Do I need to wear my orthotics in special shoes?

 Orthotics are designed to function in shoes that maintain the orthotic level to the ground. If you use them in shoes that unlevel the orthotics (relative to the ground) such as arch support built into your shoe that pushes the inner margin of the orthotic upwards) this will dramatically decrease or totally eliminate the effectiveness of the orthotic.

If the shoe deformation is severe enough, not only will the orthotic not function, it can actually increase your symptoms.


Can I wear orthotics in all my shoes?

This depends on the type of orthotics you’re using. Some can be worn in all shoes, others can’t. This is a question you need to ask of the healthcare provider who fabricated and/or dispensed your orthotics.

How long will they last before needing to be replaced?

This depends on the material used in the fabrication of the orthotic. In general, harder materials such as carbon fiber and rohadur plastics last longer than soft materials such as EVA and PVA.

Will I have to exchange them for a different type?

In most cases, orthotics are replaced only when they’re broken or worn out, but there are some cases when the orthotic has to be modified or replaced. For example, there is a disease, Acromegaly, in which parts of the body – including the feet – abnormally grow larger, and so a larger orthotic would then be required.


How long does orthotic therapy last?

Assuming your doctor has put you into orthotics for a problem that can be corrected by using them, the length of time it will take you to get better depends on the pathology present, its’ severity, the structural stability of your body, how close you are to an ideal weight for your body and your overall health. The more issues you bring into your therapy, the longer the length will be.

Will I have to wear orthotics for the rest of my life?

This depends on what they’re being used for. If you have an acute problem, recently developed, typically the use is more short term than a chronic problem that has taken years to develop. But this question needs to be answered by the healthcare provider who dispensed your orthotics.


If you have more questions about your orthotics, be sure to read Part One and Part Three  – ‘Do You Have Questions About Orthotics?’