Orthotics or ‘Orthoses’ are inserts that comfortably fit into shoes; they are designed to support and improve the functioning of feet. Health care practitioners will prescribe orthotics to patients suffering from chronic foot or lower limb problems or to athletes to help maximize performance during sport.
Your orthotics should be worn every time you are on your feet – during work, at home and play. Orthotics are like eyeglasses, they work when they are worn. As soon as you take your orthotics out of your shoes or take your shoes off your feet, the stress and discomfort you experienced before wearing your orthotics is likely to return.
During the first few weeks of wearing your orthotics, you may experience aches and pains in your feet and legs. This is normal and is an indication that your orthotics are working. Your body has been conditioned to accommodate feet that do not function properly; as a result, it may need time to adjust. If your discomfort persists beyond a few weeks, please contact your health care practitioner, your orthotics may simply need a minor adjustment.
Orthotics are most effective in shoes that are constructed well, fit properly and are in good condition. It is best to bring in your shoes when your health care practitioner is fitting you for orthotics. Knowing the type of footwear you wear the most will help your practitioner prescribe the right style of orthotics for your lifestyle. It is quite normal for some practitioners to prescribe two pairs of orthotics to patients (ie. Dress and Sport). When shopping for new shoes, it is also best to bring your orthotics with you for fitting purposes.