It is believed that custom foot orthotics improve foot functions when it is inserted into shoes to give relief to patients with foot abnormalities. There has been a lot of discussion about how effective is foot orthoses to treat plantar heel pain? This aspect was discussed in a recent study that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) by researchers Rasenberg and co-workers.
This research was conducted by reviewing 20 studies of treatment done on plantar heel pain. The study revealed that custom orthotic therapy isn’t a superior method of treating plantar heel pain.
Dr. Doug Richie Jr. argues that when the research is conducted, comparisons of different interventions are made. Researchers study how one treatment is superior to another. While researching, the statistical power of “superior effect” is more than “not superior effect”. Thus, the overall effect on the superiority of the orthotic therapy is less.
Dr. Doug also points out that the overall effect of the research fails to consider cases where particular patients do benefit from custom orthotic therapy while others don’t. He questions that is this because each patient’s foot type is different and each patient responds to treatment uniquely? Or is it because there are varied pathologies that lead to plantar heel pain?
He reiterates that each doctor in their daily practice rely of therapies that work best with patients. So, conclusively doctors should never reject or abandon foot orthotic therapy if its cost-effective, shows positive outcomes that doctors witness first hand on regular basis.