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Custom Orthotics: Frequently Asked Questions

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Between standing all day at work to enjoying an evening stroll or running after a rambunctious toddler, your feet go through a lot of wear and tear throughout a normal day. Additionally, when your feet are supported and well protected, it can help prevent pain in your knees and back as well. Orthotics are a great way to provide your feet with the support they need. Here are a few frequently asked questions you might have about orthotics.

What Exactly Are Custom Orthotics?

Unlike store-bought orthotics or shoe inserts that you would purchase at a big box store or shoe store, custom orthotics are specifically designed to treat a variety of medical issues, including problems with your feet and back. Orthotics are prescribed by a doctor and made specifically for your feet to treat a diagnosed medical condition.

How Will Your Custom Orthotics Be Fitted?

First, a specialist called a physiotherapist will perform a biomechanical assessment. During this assessment, your gait, the shape of your foot, the size of your foot, your condition, and several other factors will be noted and utilized during the construction of your orthotics. Next, the physiotherapist will use a 3D scanning machine, a plaster cast, or another method to create a model of your feet.

This information is provided to a company that manufactures the orthotics with your unique measurements and needs in mind. Once your orthotics arrive, your doctor or a physiotherapist will have you try out the orthotics to ensure a proper fit.

Who Would Benefit from Custom Orthotics?

There are several different conditions that can be treated with some properly fitted custom orthotics, including:

  • Achilles' tendonitis
  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Bunions
  • Bursitis
  • Hammertoes
  • Pinched nerve
  • Diabetic foot ulcers

Your doctor might recommend custom orthotics if you have any of the above-mentioned conditions or if you simply spend a lot of time on your feet in a high-demand job, such as teaching or nursing.

How Should You Break in Your New Orthotics?

Do not be surprised if you feel some discomfort for the first few days or weeks of wearing your new orthotics. Just like a shoe, it can take a few weeks to break in your orthotics. Your doctor might recommend wearing your orthotics for a few minutes a day and eventually working up to a couple of hours a day for the first few days or weeks.

However, eventually, your orthotics will be comfortable, and chances are you will forget you are wearing them.

Custom orthotics are doctor-prescribed medical devices that can be used to treat a number of common conditions. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to speak to your doctor.