Can functional foot orthotics reduce the pain in my knees, hips, and lower back?
It all depends on the make up of your lower extremity. Outer or inner knee pain may be caused by increased pressure in that area of the knee joint and functional foot orthotics can help realign you to alleviate that pressure.
The same applies to the hips and lower back. Flat feet and abnormal knee mechanics can cause poor posture when walking and place strain on your lower back. Functional foot orthotics must be made with a rigid or semi-rigid plastic polymer or graphite material to have any impact on your feet and knee mechanics. In other words, even if your feet were casted or molded, if the orthotic you receive can be easily folded or twisted — that is, not rigid — it will not improve your alignment or mechanics.
Orthotics that are soft and malleable are known as accommodative orthotics and are essentially a soft landing for sufferers of neuropathy from diabetes or those who shuffle from Parkinson’s disease. Seeing your podiatrist will help you solve what is best for you.