WHAT IS A CUSTOM ORTHOTIC
A custom orthotic is a specially made device to go within your shoe in order to improve function of your foot and ankle. The orthotic is designed to alter the current mechanics and alignment to relieve excess stress and strain on the lower leg and foot. The orthotic is ‘custom-made’ as the shape of the orthotic is made to the precise measurements of your foot with the use of a 3D scanner and exact correction added for exactly what each of your feet need.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ORTHOTICS
There are two types of orthotics- functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics tend to be the orthotics used mostly in private practice for people who need better alignment for improvements in muscle use. Functional orthotic shells usually are made of a firmer material, usually plastic or a harder rubber, as to provide enough force to change your current foot posture. There are also accommodative orthotics, which are commonly used in hosptials for people who have severe high pressure areas and wounds. These are made of a soft material and try to spread the pressure away from the problematic area.
WHAT SHOES WILL THEY FIT INTO
Most of the time you will need a shoe that can be fastened to the foot and has a removable insole as this will allow the orthotic not to take up too much space within the shoe. Some orthotics can be specifically designed to fit semi-enclosed sandals and slip-on shoes or boots.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR THEM ALL THE TIME
The more you are in them, the more they will help you. You should wear your orthotics as much as possible and should always wear them during the activities that were causing pain in the first place, ie. work or sport.
WILL THE ORTHOTICS HURT MY FEET
Your orthotics should never cause you pain, although they may feel uncomfortable to begin with. During the initial two weeks of wearing the orthotics there will be a small transition period where your feet aren’t used to them and they are not yet comfortable, this is why we encourage wearing them in gradually. After this, you should not really notice them in your shoes.
HOW LONG WILL THE ORTHOTICS LAST
This is dependent on a number of factors such as how much the orthotic is used, what material is it made of and how much force or stress the person is putting through the orthotic. For example, a functional orthotic made from a plastic shell may last upwards of five years. Children may outgrow the orthotics after approximately twelve-eighteen months. It is best to have your orthotics checked yearly to ensure they are still fitting correctly and are still providing adequate correction.