Commonly referred to as "orthotics," are shoe inserts that are intended to adjust an abnormal, or irregular, walking pattern. They perform functions that make standing, walking and running more comfortable and efficient by altering the alignment between the foot and the lower leg.
Podiatrists at Bermuda Podiatry Centre prescribe the use of orthoses as a conservative approach to problems such as plantar fasciitis (arch pain), tendinitis and "runner's knee." Their use is a highly successful, practical form of treatment.
Orthoses are not truly or solely "arch supports" though some people use those words to describe them. Orthoses are medical devices that require a prescription and are custom-made by trained individuals. Podiatrists specialize in assessing and understanding the bio-mechanical faults of the foot and what is required to balance excessive pronation (collapsing in) and supination (rolling out) and reduce excessive forces that can lead to injury.
However, if you are prescribed orthoses by a podiatrist, in most cases they are successful in relieving, preventing and/or correcting the pain/problem for which they were prescribed. This is not the only treatment which will be prescribed for a condition as there will be other modalities used like manipulation, laser ,strapping ,taping and other advice used in conjunction.
Orthoses take various forms and are constructed of various materials. All are concerned with improving foot function and minimizing stress forces that could ultimately cause foot deformity and pain.