At least 1 in 4 people with knee cap pain is likely to benefit from foot orthoses.
Why might shoe inserts help?
Research suggests that shoe inserts will significantly help reduce pain in anywhere between 25 and 50% of people with knee cap pain over the first 6-12 weeks of treatment. They may also help in the longer term too.
Traditionally, shoe inserts have been provided to people because they have flat (pronated) feet. However, there is a lot of debate about whether this is the right approach. In people with knee cap pain, having flatter feet does not predict strongly whether or not shoe inserts will help. Equally, shoe inserts can help people who are not considered to have flat feet.
A couple of studies have reported that people with flexible feet measured using a specific device are more likely to benefit from shoe inserts if they have knee cap pain. This is something you could discuss and assess with the assistance of your physiotherapist or podiatrist.
Types of shoe inserts used in research trials
Aren’t shoe inserts expensive?
If shoe inserts are customised specifically for you, they can be quite expensive. However, research tells us that this is not necessary for most people with knee cap pain.
If you complete your rehabilitation exercises given to you by a physiotherapist and get stronger, shoe inserts may only be needed for a short time.
Some physiotherapists have the knowledge and skills to provide you shoe inserts and you should discuss this with the physiotherapist treating you. If not, they can refer you to see a podiatrist to help.