Can orthotics help my arthritis?

‘Can foot orthotics help with my arthritis?’ is a question our Colac Podiatrist gets asked on a weekly basis.


There’s an estimated 3.9 million people in Australia that have one form of arthritis, or around 1 in every 6 people! Given that there’s 33 joints in each foot it is an issue that Podiatrists will commonly treat. But how can we help?


Foot orthotics are one of our options to assist the overall comfort of the feet and legs when managing arthritic conditions. They work by changing where pressure goes in the foot and influencing how our joints operate. This can provide a lot of relief for painful feet.


There is good evidence showing that foot orthotics in particular assist with rheumatoid arthritis foot pain. This can be within the early stages, when joints are stiff and inflamed or in later stages when joints have changed to the point they are now causing high pressure points (like rheumatoid  nodules). We find that using a softer, well cushioned orthotic is particularly beneficial in these cases.


Likewise, there is good evidence that orthotics help with osteoarthritis of the knee joint when pain is more prominent on one side of the knee. For example, if knee pain is localised to the outside compartment of the knee an orthotic with higher pressure on the inside of the heel helps to offload the painful area.


Another common area of concern is osteoarthritis affecting the big toe joint. Depending on the diagnosis this could be Hallux Rigidus or Hallux Abducto Valgus (Bunions). We find that an orthotic that contours the foot well to maximise arch contact whilst providing some flexibility in the material is a great way to maximise foot function and decrease force at the big toe joint.


In summary, the answer to the question ‘can foot orthotics help my arthritis?’ is likely yes, but only after a consultation with a Podiatrist to make sure you’re getting the best orthotic for your personal needs and requirements!


If this is you then try booking online today to get on top of your foot pain.