How custom orthotics can curb your foot and back pain

Treat foot and back pain with precision thanks to custom orthotics

When you choose your footwear, you’re probably focused on the comfort of your heels and toes. You may not realize it, but your footwear can also affect how the rest of your body feels – even when you’re not moving. Specifically, having proper foot support – as well as ensuring that your ankle is angled correctly – can prevent back pain and other irritating problems.

Custom orthotics are a type of slip or insert that is placed in your footwear to give your foot support. While the generic footwear inserts you find in stores differ by shoe size, custom orthotics are made for a specific patient.

Custom orthotics are used to treat plenty of different conditions and problems that may involve your feet, legs, back, or your entire body.

How are they different from insoles

Insoles can be purchased at a shoe store or in the footwear section of a department store. They are usually labeled according to their size, and can be placed in a shoe to enhance heel support. These are helpful for customers who find that their shoe size does not always properly distribute support amongst their feet.

Custom orthotics, meanwhile, can treat a wider variety of issues with more precise support. Issues from back pain, foot deformities, injuries (and injury prevention), and much more. Rather than buying a custom orthotic off the shelf, you would instead see a chiropractor or physiotherapist – they would ask you about the problems you face and collect measurements to go about creating orthotics for you.

What problems do custom orthotics treat, and how?

Custom orthotics are either prescribed on their own or as a part of a treatment regimen. They may also be combined with pain medication, physiotherapy, light exercise, or stretches.

Specifically, custom orthotics add support and cushioning in important areas of your foot. As a result, your body’s overall posture will improve over time from the added support, and pain will be reduced.

You’ll be surprised by the amount of common conditions that custom orthotics can treat. Learn about some of them below.

Foot pain

Does your footwear leave you feeling exceptionally sore? There are plenty of reasons why this might be the case – and custom orthotics can do wonders for these issues.

Flat feet are one the most common causes of foot pain – that’s because everyone’s feet are shaped differently, and most shoes aren’t made with every single type of foot in mind. Custom orthotics can give your feet the balance they need to remain comfortable in footwear.

Other common foot issues that custom orthotics help include:

  • Foot pain caused by arthritis

  • Loss of sensation from diabetes

  • Inflammation on heels or toes (bursitis)

  • Foot injuries and broken bones

Back pain

Anyone with back pain knows how excruciating and irritating it can be. Flat feet, poor positioning of the feet, and lack of support in footwear can all add to this problem. Fortunately, custom orthotics can improve your back’s level of comfort.

Arch pain

Some arches roll inward, or take on too much pressure. Arch issues can stress your foot’s muscles, causing knee and heel pain. Custom orthotics can provide the exact amount of support your arches need to alleviate your pain.

Bunions or toe problems

It’s common for poor foot support to lead to toe problems. Bunions are a common one – these are small bumps that appear at the side or bottom of your big toe and cause pain and deformities – these are often called ‘hammer toes.’ Fortunately, custom orthotics can treat these issues and restore your feet.

What will happen during my appointment?

First, you’ll take part in a foot exam, in which your specialist will look for physical signs or symptoms of conditions. You’ll also be able to share about your experiences with pain. Your exam might also involve walking or performing light exercises to evaluate how you feel.

You may participate in an X-ray or bone scan to provide your specialist with more details.

These processes will allow your specialist to create an orthotic that treats your foot and its issues with precision.

Will I need new shoes, too?

If your specialist believes that your choice of footwear is adding to your problems, they may make a recommendation – after all, there are plenty of shoes on the market that are designed for specific foot conditions or shapes. However, custom orthotics are generally designed to fit into most shoes.


Foot and back pain can ruin your day. Fortunately, custom orthotics are a powerful solution that treats these issues from the ground up – literally.

At Elysian Wellness Centre, our team of experts can help you with all of your physiotherapy and chiropractic needs. Contact us today to learn more about custom orthotics!

Alex Tieu

Dr. Alex Tieu is a chiropractor with a passion for helping others achieve their health goals. Dr. Tieu wants to help his patients achieve optimal health and feel their best. He firmly believes that chiropractic care can make a significant difference in people's lives.

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