Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Mark Romanick


Foot Deformities -- complications; Foot Orthoses; Pain Management; Pain Measurement; Patient Satisfaction; Surveys and Questionnaires


The foot is made up of many bones, joints, and ligaments that help support the foot and body. When these structures are not properly aligned the appropriate biomechanics of the foot become compromised. Foot orthotics act as a conservative method of treatment to address some of the painful symptoms associated with these conditions. Common problems that have previously been addressed include plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, shin splints, flat feet, hallux valgus, and patellofemoral, heel and back pain.

In this study, we hope to indicate when and where orthotic use is indicated and what diagnoses benefit most when using orthotics as a conservative treatment method. This information can assist clinicians in making necessary referrals and determining patient prognoses.

Data was collected retrospectively to evaluate the effectiveness of the orthotics for increasing activity and reducing pain levels. Also evaluated were how gender, age and BMI affected these outcomes and if the patients perceived the benefits to outweigh the costs. We found that gender and age did not significantly affect outcomes. Participants who had excess weight showed greater increases in activity levels and decreases in pain than normal weight individuals. When categorized by diagnosis the majority of participants reported a decrease in pain after orthotic use. Orthotics are an effective method to reduce pain and increase activity levels, however, to what extent is still unknown.