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Orthotics can weaken your feet?

Updated: Sep 24, 2021



Many many people put orthotics in their shoes and for the best of reasons. A weak arch, a leg length difference, to "cure" heel pain. But there is a problem here.


Put your foot in an orthotic for too long and issues will arrive elsewhere in the body. ๐Ÿ˜ž Orthotics are a great short term solution to help control pain, but left in for too long they weaken the foot. Think of an arm that is supported in a cast for a while, while a broken bone heals. Once you remove the cast the muscles have wasted. The foot is the same, support an arch with an orthotic and the muscles don't have to do the job any more, so they weaken and eventually the orthotic stops working as the foot is now so weak.

Any heel lift orthotic will alter the biomechanics through the lower body, and a foot raise orthotic will cause similar issues. So what can you do?๐Ÿง

Your initial pain came form somewhere, so how about getting back to the root of the issue? That is exactly what we do, feet can be strengthened and your arch can be rejuvenated, so if you have worn an orthotic for more than 6 months, without an accompanying strength program, give us a call and let's get the problem fixed permanently.๐Ÿ˜€


But what can you do yourself?


The long term solution is to strengthen the foot..... Take a towel and lay it on a surface such as tiles or wooden floors, something without much friction.


Then using your toes only, try to scrunch the towel up under your feet. Make sure your big toe does most of the work and try not to let the whole leg work, just the foot.


When it starts to get easy you can progress the exercise.


  1. Add a water bottle to the end of the towel and partially fill it with water. That way you have to pull the towel and the water bottle, which is harder.

  2. Once you can do that, increase the amount of water in the bottle until you can easily pull the towel and a full 2ltr water bottle!

  3. Once you can do that, move the towel onto a different surface with more friction, such as carpet and start the process again.

  4. Normal foot strength is scrunching a 2 ltr water bottle on carpet ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.


Once you can do this, you need to give us a call and we can take you to the next level. ๐Ÿ˜€





The Reinge Clinic is a Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy, Sports Science clinic based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire Take a look at our facebook page for our pain, injury and exercise advice posts and learn more about us on our website.

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