Foot orthoses are widely used to treat a variety of foot disorders from overpronation and collapsed arches to plantar fasciitis and other reasons for heel pain. The scientific evidence points too they usually are effective at fixing most of the conditions as long as they are indicated for that problem, Foot orthotics frequently get used to support the foot, when support of the foot may have nothing to do with the problem that the individual could have. This can lead to them being misused and erroneously blamed for treatment failures. Another issue is that there are many different types of foot orthoses and even within each type of foot orthotic, there is an almost unlimited variance in the design features that can be included in them. If even one of those design features isn't good for the individual, then the prospects of that foot orthotic helping is potentially reduced. For this reason the option of the different designs is really determined by the expertise and experience of the clinician.
The clinician will select the design features required for the individual and if the device needs to be customized for the person or if a pre-made less expensive foot orthotic can be used. In relation to custom made orthotics, the medical professional needs to take a plaster cast or laser scan of the foot kept in specific positions for the foot orthotic to be made on. When it comes to the style of the device different elements are taken into account. For example, if the patient has posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, then something like a Cluffy Wedge type foot orthotic is needed. The Cluffy Wedge has specific modifications to handle the variety of problems that occur in that condition. If the concern is linked to deficiencies in impact absorption, then the orthotic must be designed to accommodate that. The plethora of options is endless and depends upon the condition present and the wishes of the treating podiatrist.