Do Custom-made Orthotics Work?

Reference:Reference: Donatelli R, Hurlbert C, Conaway D 1988 Biomechanical foot orthotics: A retrospective study. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 10 (6); 205-212


  • Many different health care professionals prescribe and design orthotics?but the question is, are they effective, or just costly things to put in a shoe?
  • In this 1988 study, 53 recreational athletes with various foot, ankle and knee pain syndromes were evaluated by a Physical Therapist and were prescribed custom-made Orthotics.


  • 96% of the patients reported relief from pain with the use of the Orthotics
  • 91% reported they were very satisfied or satisfied with the orthotics
  • 9% were not satisfied with the Orthotics
  • 81% reported a 3-day adjustment period for wearing Orthotics
  • 52% would not leave home without the Orthotics in their shoes
  • 42% used them only during the activity that originally produced the pain.

    Personal Comment:Custom-made Orthotics can be a highly effective adjunct to other Physiotherapy treatments.

    I will always assess the patient to determine which specific stretching, strengthening exercise or joint mobilization they require. IF my interventions fail to provide complete symptomatic relief, I would then consider the Orthotics option.

    Posted on: January 25, 2002

    Categories: Foot & Ankle

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.