Orthotics for lateral foot pain: How and why they work

Biocorrect, LLC


It is estimated that up to 1 in 4 middle-aged people are living with general foot pain. Determining the location of that foot pain can help you pinpoint its cause. Lateral foot pain, or pain that occurs on the side of the foot, can be caused by a number of conditions, especially ones that have been left untreated over time. Potential causes of lateral foot pain can include:

  • Scar tissue.
  • Arthritis.
  • Bunions.
  • An ankle sprain.
  • Stress fractures.
  • Bursitis.
  • Inflamed tendons.
  • Pinched nerves.

If the sides of your feet are painful and you have difficulty walking or standing, the relief you need could be found in orthotics. Orthotics are special heel or foot inserts that support your foot and distribute pressure across your feet. 

How do orthotics work for lateral foot pain?

In addition to prescribing supportive shoes and physical therapy, your doctor may prescribe orthotics to bump up your treatment plan. While over-the-counter orthotics can help, custom-made orthotics are molded to your foot shape and gait pattern. 

The goal of orthotics is to help a person manage their foot pain, limit their risk of injury and avoid invasive treatments like surgery. According to a study, custom orthotics significantly improved the well-being of standing workers who experienced lateral and midfoot pain. 

Orthotics can specifically help you address your lateral foot pain by: 

  • Giving you consistent arch and heel support. Whether you have high arches or flat feet, orthotics can be molded to your needs to support your arches and relieve your lateral foot pain. Arch supports can transfer pressure from the outside of your foot to the inside of your foot. With better weight distribution, the outside of your foot won’t have to bear concentrated pressure while it is already inflamed.
  • Padding your movement. Lateral foot pain can be caused by a tightening of muscles and tendons in the foot. Orthotics can offer you ample cushioning to absorb shock and gently massage the foot with every step. This way, blood can circulate through the foot and loosen tight muscles. In addition, orthotics can pad the outside of your foot during weight-bearing activities like walking, running or standing, thereby reducing pain.
  • Stabilizing the sides of your feet. Many conditions, including arthritis, can cause inflammation and misalign the bones in the foot. Misalignment of the foot can lead to imbalance, instability and eventually lateral foot pain. Thankfully, orthotics have grooves that can hold your foot in place within your shoe so that it remains aligned with the rest of your body. A study found that orthotics provided mechanical stability to patients’ initially unstable feet. A stable foot can encourage you to move more and decrease the inflammation in your lateral foot.

Biocorrect offers unique orthotics that can address your lateral foot pain

Lateral foot pain can make simple activities like standing or walking unbearably painful. Whether your pain is linked to arthritis or built-up scar tissue, custom orthotics can give you the support you need. Our team of experts at Biocorrect can build orthotics that target your feet concerns and work in tandem with the rest of your treatment plan. 

Contact us to learn more about the orthotics we offer or to set up an initial evaluation with one of our certified pedorthists.