I’d like to restate the same important message that I originally stated in Part One and Part Two 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 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 more effective 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 is Part Three – my answers to your questions:
Professor /Dr. Brian A. Rothbart Answers Your Questions About Orthotics
How does my doctor determine if my orthotics are functioning correctly?
There are many types of tests that physicians can use to determine if the orthotics are functioning correctly. The two most common are gait analyses and pressure plate studies. The problem is that there is no consensus of opinion on how to interpret the data generated from these tests. However, there is a new diagnostic test (DORA) that has been recently devised which definitively determines if the prescribed orthotic is functioning correctly or not.
How can I determine if my orthotics are functioning correctly?
I’ve developed a test that unequivocally determines whether or not your orthotics are functioning correctly. It is called the Modified DORA. The Modified DORA is based on taking a series of radiographs while you are wearing and not wearing your orthotics.
You can read about the Modified DORA in this article: The Test That Holds Your Doctor To A Higher Standard Of Care.
The most important indicator as to whether your orthotics are functioning correctly is how you feel: If you feel no better using them compared to not using them, then your orthotics aren’t working as they should.
I’ve had all sorts of gate studies done to determine if the way I walk is causing my pain and from these studies, I’ve had three or four doctors all prescribe different types of orthotics. They each tell me that their orthotic will eliminate my pain, but after purchasing many pairs, I still hurt. Why?
The bottom line is that if your doctor has given you an orthotic in an attempt to eliminate your chronic muscle and joint pain, and if he/she is not adequately trained in the fields of biomechanics, neurophysiology, embryology, neurology, physiotherapy, physiatry, muscle physiology, kinesiology, kinematics and kinetics (just to name a few) they’re not going to get the results to get you better – and you won’t get the results you’re looking for.
In my opinion, podiatrists and orthopedists are trained to do surgery, which they usually do well. But they are not adequately trained in using orthotics or insoles to eliminate chronic pain problems.
In fact, the entire western medical society is failing with chronic pain patients because the tools they are using – surgery, drugs, physical therapy and orthotics – are ineffective.
What happens if my doctor tells me my orthotics are working well, but I’m not getting better?
The answer is pretty black and white: If they’re working, you’ll get better, if they aren’t, you won’t. If despite your complaints, your doctor is telling you that your orthotics are working well, he isn’t listening to you. Find a doctor who will listen to you and get you well.
If you have more questions about your orthotics, be sure to read Part One and Part Two – ‘Do You Have Questions About Orthotics.
Do You Have Questions On Orthotics? Part Three