When it comes to foot orthotics, the main mission of these supportive devices is to help improve the stability, function and alignment of the feet, ankles, legs, hips and spine.
In other words, by encouraging the proper biomechanical alignment of the feet and ankles, the entire body may benefit from foot orthotics. For this reason, these devices may be quite useful for rehabilitation from injury, particularly an injury that may have affected the function and alignment of the feet and ankles.
However, foot orthotics also may be used to help rehabilitate people who are suffering from an injury to another area of the body, such as a back injury.
For example, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics compared the use of customized foot orthotics along with standard care to standard care alone in a group of people who were suffering from chronic low back pain following a work related back injury.
The study, “Effect of customized foot orthotics in addition to usual care for the management of chronic low back pain following work related injury,” found that the use of foot orthotics in addition to standard care resulted in lower disability scores and reduced the use of prescribed analgesics for back pain. The study’s authors concluded that the use of foot orthotics along with standard care was more effective than standard care alone.
This is just one example of the ways in which foot orthotics may help people rehabilitate and recover from a variety of injuries that can affect the alignment of the body. From Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, to low back injury and athletic issues such as turf toe, it appears foot orthotics can play a key role in the rehabilitation of many different conditions.
Of course, it is important to remember that foot orthotics do not typically work alone when it comes to rehabilitation and recovery. Typically, a patient will need to be actively involved in the rehabilitation process. Foot orthotics may be effectively combined with prescribed stretching and strengthening exercises and possibly the use of pain medication, massage and other treatment methods, as well.