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The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Custom Orthotics Dependency

Walk Barefoot While Consciously Maintaining Your Tripod Foot | Dr Ken Nakamura Chiropractor

Exercises to Potentially Reduce Orthotic Dependency

Many individuals rely on custom orthotics for improved foot support, but with consistent effort and specific exercises, it’s possible to reduce dependency on custom orthotics. While individual results may vary, the exercises outlined below have helped some individuals improve their standing and walking, potentially allowing them to eliminate custom orthotics from most of their shoes. It’s important to note that consulting with a healthcare professional is advised for personalized guidance.

Custom Orthotics: Caution When Getting Orthotics

Exercise #1: Strengthen Your Arches To Improve Custom Orthotic Dependency:

  • Like a camera tripod, your goal is to put your weight on three points of your foot.
  • The ball of your big and little toe and your heel is where you should be putting your weight.
  • The tripod stance creates the arch in your foot needed to take the pressure of the other parts of the foot.
  • A pencil or pen should fit underneath.
  • Create the arch in your foot then relax your foot. Repeat 300-500X over a few days to a week.

Healthy Standing Posture To Reduce Low Back Pain

Exercise #2: Stand On A Merrithew Stability Cushion or Bosu Ball

  • Take off your socks and shoes.
  • Stand on the Merrithew Stability cushion or Bosu Ball:>> Warning you should not do this exercise if you have balance problems. Talk to your Chiropractor first before attempting.
  • The unstable nature of the Merrithew cushion exercises the muscles of your feet, legs thighs and hips so that you can hold yourself up.
  • Stand on the cushion for 2 minutes and you will feel that your feet get very tired.

Exercise #3 One-Legged Tripod To Reduce Orthotic Dependency

  • Get in the tripod stance with one of your feet.
  • Now lift your non-tripod foot and bend that same knee.
  • Simply getting in this position makes the exercise you did previously much harder.

Exercise #4: Walk Consciously while maintaining Your Tripod Stance: Custom Orthotics

The next step is to walk consciously while trying to create your arch. For the first few days to a few weeks, you will have to concentrate on changing how you walk. The time it takes will depend on how diligent you are and how quickly your body learns the new pattern of walking.

Exercise #4: One-legged Tripod Squat To Reduce Custom Orthotic Dependency

  • Get in the tripod stance with one of your feet.
  • Now lift your non-tripod foot and bend that same knee.
  • Now try a squat while doing a one-legged tripod stance.
  • Always be near a wall or counter.

Exercise #5 Heel Raises To Get Rid Of Custom Orthotics

  • Either with your shoes on or off, stand with your feet apart more than the picture above.
  • Raise your heels and hold for 1 sec as high as you can go.
  • Do 3 sets of 15.

Picture Reference

Title Photo by Tracey Hocking on Unsplash

1.  The top 3 Ways Wearing Shoes Harms Our Feet and What We Can do About it.
2. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1992 Jul;74(4):525-7.
The influence of footwear on the prevalence of flat foot. A survey of 2300 children.

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Dr. Ken is an award-winning chiropractor in downtown Toronto, serving a diverse clientele. He is an avid athlete, representing Ontario in the Canadian Judo Championships, and has completed the Toronto Marathon twice. Dr. Ken specializes in in treating his patients using the C3 Program.