Orthotics are medical devices that podiatrists use to help treat foot problems, lessen pain, and to assist stabilization and mobility. The word orthotic stems from the Greek work orthosis which roughly translates to “straight.” In essence, an orthotic device holds the foot straight and prevents it from continuing the motions, pressure, and aggravation that is causing its pain and suffering. These devices are extremely beneficial to many people worldwide and come highly recommended by podiatrists all across the United States.
Most podiatrists will build an orthotic that is custom to the individual foot that it will service. They will take a mold of the patient’s foot and have them try the orthotic on multiple times. They will make adjustments until it fits perfectly. Basic instructions are usually given at the time of the first application of the orthotic. Sometimes absorbing all of the information that a new orthotic comes with can be perplexing, but below you can find a breakdown of some of the basics to help you out.
How to Properly Wear your Orthotic Device
- Make sure your heel is all the way at the back of the orthotic for best fit. There should not be a gap between the heel and the device.
- Make sure to have shoes that fit properly when using your orthotic device. When choosing shoes, you should consider using the ones you used when molding your orthotic in the first place, this ensures that the heel heights are the same and prevents problems later on. If either piece is wrong it will cause pain and more damage to the foot and ankle.
- Do not wear your orthotic device barefooted, with sandals or with slippers.
- Socks should always be worn with an orthotic device. They should fit comfortably and not contain wrinkles, bunches, or poor seams. This will help prevent friction, moisture build up and irritation on the skin. Friction and moisture on the skin can cause painful blisters that can lead to infection if not treated properly.
- The sock that you choose needs to be longer than the orthotic device you are wearing.
- Use cotton socks. They allow for better air flow and circulation.
- Make sure your straps are snug on your orthotic. If your foot is moving around in the orthotic, it isn’t doing its job. It can also cause more damage to your foot later on.
Not sure which shoe to wear with your device? Think yours isn’t fitting right? Call Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, of Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, located in the nature coast area in Florida. Dr. Kales will be able to make a custom orthotic that fits the individual needs of your foot. Call 727-868-2128 or make an appointment online today. An orthotic can have a life-changing effect.