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

After graduating from the University of Florida, Dr. Jake Berman, PT, DPT sought out mentorship first from Bob Seton in Destin, FL and then from Aaron Robles in Jacksonville, FL. Both of these mentors have 20+ years of experience helping people keep active and mobile so they can enjoy high quality active lifestyles. What Jake found was that back pain was by far the most debilitating pain and the highest factor leading to decreased physical activity later in life. These experiences are what inspired Jake to specialize in helping people aged 50+ keep active, mobile and pain free despite the aging process. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to alleviate somebody’s back pain so that they can get back to living their best life- especially in Naples! Over the years of helping 100’s of people aged 65-75 become stronger and pain free, one thing for sure has become apparent: “he who rests rots”. Jake is a firm believer that we become stiff then old, not old then stiff. Seriously, think about it...
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