Prefabricated Orthotics and Heel Pain

Researchers investigated the effects of foot orthoses and heel inserts on plantar pressures in older adults with plantar heel pain.

Thirty-six adults aged over 65 years with plantar heel pain participated in the study. Using the in-shoe Pedar system, plantar pressure data were recorded while participants walked along an 8 meter walkway wearing a standardized shoe and four different shoe inserts. The shoe inserts consisted of a silicon heel cup, a soft foam heel pad, a heel lift, and a prefabricated foot orthosis.

The greatest reduction was achieved by the prefabricated foot orthosis, which provided a fivefold reduction compared to the next most effective insert. The contoured nature of the prefabricated foot orthosis allowed for an increase in midfoot contact area, resulting in a greater redistribution of force. The prefabricated foot orthosis was also the only shoe insert that did not increase forefoot pressure.

Talus inMotion Foot & Ankle podiatrists have been using prefabricated foot orthosis as a standard method of alleviating heel pain on a patients initial presentation, with excellent results over the last five years. It is very cost effective and we have found only a small percentage of patients actually need custom orthotics.