Orthotics Use and Care

The biomechanics of the foot.

The foot is a complex structure, made up of 26 bones positioned by ligaments, tendons and muscles.  Every time your heel strikes the ground, a joint unlocks in preparation for motion.  As you move forward, the joint locks again.  The foot becomes a rigid lever so that you can push off toward the next step.

Most foot pain results from a faulty relationship between the bones and muscles of the foot.  Even the slightest misalignment can cause such problems as pronation, flat feet, repeated ankle sprains, bunions, corns, calluses, even back and neck pain.  It can, in short, cause great discomfort.

You’ve been prescribed orthoses to help put your foot back into alignment and relieve your discomfort.

Prescription orthoses.

Prescription foot orthoses are not mere arch supports.  They are hand made of high-technology materials, especially for you, to correct your foot problems.  You simply insert them into your shoes.

How prescription orthoses work.

Your foot impressions were sent to our orthosis laboratory.  There, orthoses were precisely fabricated in accordance with the prescription so that they would control your feet during standing, walking and running.  As your foot rests on the orthosis, it is gently and consistently held in the correct position.  Pressure points, improper rotation and muscle strain are reduced or eliminated because your othoses help your foot function properly.

In a way, prescription foot orthoses are like eyeglasses.  Not everyone needs them, but for those that do, prescription correction and professional care are absolutely essential.  And, like eyeglasses, orthoses can’t work unless you wear them.

A period of adjustment.

To ease into the use of your orthoses, wear them for one hour the first day, two hours the second and so on.  After the first week, wear them full time or as directed by your physician.

The right shoes for your orthoses.

Regular orthoses work best in flat, closed-back shoes or athletic shoes.  In some women’s shoes, slippage may occur, but this should diminish in time.  If it does not stop after six weeks or so, or if the orthosis rocks over the arch, try different shoes or different shoe styles.  For women’s shoes with heels higher than 1.5″, only orthoses designed especially for high-heeled shoes should be worn.

How to clean your orthoses.

Clean your orthoses with soap and cool water.  Do not use warm or hot water on your orhoses, as this may distort the orthoses and reduce their effectiveness.

What to do if your damage or lose your orthoses.

If you lose, break, or damage your orthoses, contact your foot specialist immediately for replacement or repair.

The solution for squeaky orthoses.

Sometimes, orthoses squeak.  To eliminate this, sprinkle a little talcum powder in your shoes and add a little paraffin to the front edge of the orthoses.  This will reduce the friction that makes orthoses squeak.

Changing conditions and changing orthoses.

Over time, your foot function may change with the use of our orthoses.  If that occurs, you may require changes in your orthosis prescription.  Regular visits to your foot specialist will ensure than your orthoses are working properly in relation to the current condition of your feet.

Sports and orthoses.

Depending on your activities and the kind of orthoses you have now, you may need special sports orthoses in addition to your everyday orthoses.  Specially constructed sports orthoses will protect your feet during specific activities and help you achieve your best performance.

For other advice, answers and continuing professional care, contact your foot specialist.

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