The foot is one of the most complex parts of the body. Made up of 26 bones positioned by joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the foot is susceptible to many stresses. Every time your foot strikes the ground a complex mechanism of biomechanical engineering comes into play.
Most foot problems are the result of a faulty relationship between structure and function that can be made worse by underlying systemic problems (vascular, neurological, endocrine are most often involved) and can cause pain, infection, inflammation, or injury and in some cases with life-threatening consequences. Even the smallest misalignment can result in limited movement and mobility and in such cases your podiatric physician may recommend prescription orthotics.
Prescription orthotics ARE NOT ARCH SUPPORTS or OVER THE COUNTER INSOLES. They are a functional biomechanical device made from a positive plaster mold of your feet and are individual to each patient. Clinical measurements of the lower extremity are made using specialized instruments and your practitioner’s expertise to confirm findings and recognize abnormal structural conditions which effect the way you walk. Here are a few important facts you need to know about foot orthotics.
Foot orthotics or orthoses are precisely fabricated according to your doctor's prescription and are custom-made for each patient, so that each foot orthosis (RT/LT) is designed to accommodate or functionally correct each individual foot.
Proper fitting should always be done by your prescribing podiatric physician so that your feet will be consistently held in the correct position to avoid improper rotation, pressure points or muscle strain.
Your feet will need a period of time to adjust to your orthotics. A typical wearing schedule would be one hour the first day, two hours the second and so on. After the first week you should be able to wear them full-time or as directed by your doctor.
Prescription orthotics fit best in a flat, closed back shoe or athletic shoe of which there are many styles to choose from. When an appointment is scheduled for your orthotic dispense and fitting bring the shoes you and your doctor have decided would be best for your type of orthotic. For heels higher than 1 1/2 inches, a specifically designed orthotic should be worn.
Do not submerge your orthotics in water. Use a damp cloth with mild soap and cool water to clean them.
Sometimes orthotics squeak. This happens because of the friction between orthotics and the shoe. If your orthotics begin to squeak pull the orthotic out of the shoe turn it over so that the bottom is exposed, add sprinkle a little baby powder to the bottom to cover the surface. This should reduce the friction that makes some orthotics squeak.