We are pleased to present you with a new pair of prescription orthotics. These inserts will provide you with years of comfort and support. They are being used to support your foot, and are a part of a medical treatment plan for your foot condition. Please be sure to continue with all other instructions your doctor has given you regarding your condition for the best chance of recovery and comfort. Your new orthotics should help provide that comfort, but some 'breaking-in' of the inserts may be needed before you can comfortably wear them all day. Most people are able to begin immediately wearing the orthotics without delay or discomfort. However, there are those who require a short period of time to allow their feet to become accustomed to the increased support that the orthotic provides. A lax, unsupported foot may need time to adjust to a firmer surface underneath it, and muscles that have not functioned properly may become sore when an orthotic forces them to function properly. A simple plan to gently introduce the foot to increased support is vital in making the orthotic comfortable to wear. You should begin to wear your new orthotics immediately. When and if the orthotics become uncomfortable, they should be removed from your shoes. After several hours, they can be placed back in your shoes and used again until discomfort develops. Alternately, you can wait until the next day to try again. This cycle is to be repeated daily, with a longer wear time achieved each day. Eventually, after two or three weeks, the orthotics will no longer be uncomfortable. Another common strategy you can try is to wear the orthotics for one hour the first day, and then increase the wear time by one hour each day that follows. If you still have discomfort following this break-in period, your doctor will reassess the orthotics at your orthotic exam appointment, and may make a modification. Very few patients actually require this, but there are times in which the orthotic as returned from the manufacturing lab is not fully adequate. Your doctor may also assess your shoes, as there are often incompatibility issues with certain shoe styles and orthotics which leads to a poor orthotic fit and discomfort. Finally you doctor may determine that your medical condition is still too painful, and may contribute to pain or discomfort with orthotic use. At that point he may initiate more aggressive or continued therapy of your underlying foot condition.
Below are other tips for the care and upkeep of your orthotics.
- Hand wash any soiling or stains on the orthotic. Do not put them in a dishwasher or washing machine, as the heat may melt the plastic and alter the orthotic's shape.
- Avoid placing the orthotics within reach of a dog. To dogs, orthotics look like rawhide chew toys, and they will make quick work of them. Dogs have also been known to remove them from shoes, so exercise caution when leaving shoes out.
- Bring your orthotics with you when you buy new shoes. Ensure that the orthotics fit properly and comfortably in the new shoes prior to purchase
- Don't forget to move your orthotics from shoe to shoe. They won't work if you don't wear them! Orthotics are for feet are like prescription glasses are for eyes. Glasses cannot improve vision the longer they are worn, as they simply improve vision when worn. Orthotics will not permanently change your foot structure, as they simply improve it while they are being worn. This is a nice alternative to major reconstructive foot surgery.
Orthotics should last for many years. Everyone is different, but the average foot does not change enough to require a new prescription casting for at least five to ten years. Some people have natural foot changes much more quickly, while others can wear the same orthotics comfortably for twenty years. When a previously comfortable orthotic becomes uncomfortable to wear, in absence of having a foot injury or painful condition, the time may be right to have new molds made. Call the office should this occur for reevaluation. If you have a top cover of fabric or padding on the orthotic, it is important to understand that this material will wear down after a couple years. This wear is normal, and does not effect the functioning of the orthotic, which is the plastic component. A simple recovering of the orthotic is all that is usually needed to repair this wear.If you have any questions regarding your new orthotics, be sure to call the office to discuss them. We hope you enjoy their use, and we hope you will enjoy foot comfort in the years to come.