Understanding the Basic Principles of Custom Foot Orthotics

Foot orthotics are custom-designed inserts that fit into shoes, providing support and comfort for various foot, leg, or back problems. They play a crucial role in the treatment and management of many musculoskeletal issues. Understanding the basic principles of orthotics can help individuals appreciate their significance and make informed decisions about their use.


1. Biomechanical Correction

One of the primary principles of custom foot orthotics is biomechanical correction. This involves realigning the foot and ankle to their optimal positions, which can reduce stress and strain on other parts of the body. Proper alignment helps improve posture and movement, leading to better overall function and reduced pain.

2. Pressure Redistribution

Orthotics are designed to redistribute pressure across the foot more evenly. By cushioning certain areas and supporting others, orthotics can help alleviate pain caused by conditions such as plantar fasciitis, diabetic foot ulcers, and metatarsalgia. This redistribution is essential for preventing pressure sores and enhancing comfort during daily activities.

3. Shock Absorption

Another key principle is shock absorption. Orthotics can absorb and dissipate the impact forces that occur during activities like walking, running, and jumping. This helps to reduce the stress on the feet, ankles, knees, and lower back, which can prevent injuries and improve overall comfort.

4. Support and Stability

Orthotics provide essential support and stability to the feet, which is particularly beneficial for individuals with flat feet, high arches, or other structural abnormalities. By supporting the arch and controlling excessive foot motion, orthotics can enhance balance and reduce the risk of falls and injuries.

5. Customization

Orthotics should be customized to meet the specific needs of the individual. Custom orthotics are tailored based on a thorough assessment of the person’s foot structure, gait, and specific issues. This personalized approach ensures that the orthotics provide the maximum benefit and address the unique concerns of the wearer.

6. Material Selection

The materials used in orthotics play a significant role in their effectiveness. Different materials offer varying levels of support, flexibility, and durability. For instance, rigid materials provide more control for biomechanical correction, while softer materials offer better shock absorption and comfort. The choice of materials depends on the individual’s needs and the specific condition being addressed.

7. Integration with Footwear

For orthotics to be effective, they must be properly integrated with appropriate footwear. The combination of well-designed orthotics and supportive shoes can enhance the overall benefits, ensuring optimal alignment, comfort, and function. It’s essential to choose footwear that complements the orthotics and provides the necessary support and stability.

8. Regular Monitoring and Adjustment

Orthotics require regular monitoring and, if necessary, adjustments to ensure they continue to meet the individual’s needs. As the body changes over time, or as the underlying condition improves or worsens, the orthotics may need to be modified. Regular follow-ups with a healthcare professional can help maintain the effectiveness of the orthotics.


Foot Orthotics are a valuable tool in the management of various musculoskeletal conditions. By understanding the basic principles of orthotics, individuals can better appreciate their importance and make informed decisions about their use. Whether it’s for biomechanical correction, pressure redistribution, shock absorption, or providing support and stability, orthotics play a crucial role in enhancing comfort, function, and overall quality of life. If you think you might benefit from orthotics, consult with a healthcare professional or your chiropractor in Vancouver to determine the best approach for your specific needs.

By Dr. Zavosh: Burrard Chiropractic and Foot Orthotics