Jake Berman

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The Awful Truth About Orthotics


Hey, it’s Dr. Jake Berman!

It’s time to get political. I’ve been passively sitting by watching our country walk its way down the drain, and I can’t keep quiet any longer! It’s time to express my feelings! It’s time to let the cat out of the bag! It’s time to bring truth to America!

It’s time to talk about… ORTHOTICS!!!!

For those who don’t know, orthotics are shoe inserts that provide external support to the feet. This may sound like a positive thing—who doesn’t want extra support!?—but it’s actually detrimental to the health of your foot!

To get a feel for what orthotics do, imagine wearing a corset around your rib cage. There are many joints in the rib cage, and all sorts of motion is supposed to occur there (like breathing, for example). Wearing a corset takes away all that motion due to the external support that the corset provides. In the “olden days,” women would wear corsets throughout the day, and then when they removed them, they’d experience excruciating back pain, which required them to wear the corset more often!

Shoes are modern-day corsets! The foot has over 100 joints tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and shoes restrict all the motion your foot is naturally designed to have. It’s no wonder people have pain in their feet when they take off their shoes at the end of the day—they just provided external support for hours and then took it away!

Quick disclaimer: there is a very small percentage of people who wear orthotics who actually need them. These people were born with a congenital defect that requires external support. This does NOT mean they were born with a “flat/arched” foot!

The straw that broke the camel’s back and prompted this blog happened as I was sitting on the couch with my wife watching TV the other night. A commercial for Dr. Scholl’s came on advertising that their orthotics “fix” back pain.

I almost fell off the couch! Not only do orthotics NOT fix back pain, they also contribute to the foot pain epidemic!

So how SHOULD you go about fixing your foot pain?

Instead of supporting your muscles, learn how to strengthen them so they don’t need support! There are a ton of resources out there that will teach you how to strengthen your foot muscles (including on the Berman PT website!).

That’s all for this time! Stay tuned for next week’s blog!

Dr. Jake Berman

Dr. Jake Berman

Jake graduated with highest honors from University of Florida, earning his Undergraduate Degree in Health Science. He went on to finish the University of Florida Physical Therapy Doctoral program. Following graduation, he practiced two years at Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in Destin, FL, learning the complex philosophy of Primal Reflex Release Technique under Bob Seton. Before deciding to open his own practice, Dr. Berman furthered his education by practicing at Innovative Therapy Solutions in Jacksonville, FL, specializing in Functional Manual Therapy™ with Aaron Robles. A lifelong resident of Naples, Jake opened the doors of Berman Physical Therapy is the very proud father of two dogs, Yeti (the office therapy dog!) and Brady. When he's not spending time with his dogs or his beautiful wife, Jenni, you can find Jake golfing or spending time outdoors.
Dr. Jake Berman

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