An orthotic is an insert that is placed inside of your shoe so that your foot pain is eliminated. Orthotics offer relief and comfort from minor problems. However, it cannot correct serious foot issues. In certain cases, an orthotic may be painful to wear. Therefore, it is important to understand ways to increase your comfort.
Reasons for Uncomfortable Orthotics
It may be a bit discouraging to wear an orthotic to correct minor pain and to experience sore, cramped, and increased aches. There are some common reasons for this added discomfort.
- Improperly Fitted Orthotics
When your orthotic is not designed to fit properly, you will likely experience foot pain. This occurs with common off-the-shelf products. It is important to realize that a readily-made item does not contour to your individual foot shape like a custom product. In other cases, your existing orthotic may become extremely worn and may need to be replaced.
- Using Incorrect Footwear
A very common reason for experiencing pain from an orthotic is from wearing improper footwear. Shoes that are overly tight do not provide enough support. This can lead to a multitude of problems. Even if your shoes once fit properly, they may have worn out or degraded. It may be necessary to purchase a new pair.
- You are Not Correctly Breaking In Your Orthotic
It is essential to break in your orthotics. When you fail to gradually use these items, your feet may begin to hurt. Every person is different, which means that a different break in process is necessary for everyone. However, taking the time will make your feet feel much better.
Ways to Improve Orthotic Comfort
Since orthotics are made to help your feet, it is essential that they are comfortable. If they hurt your feet, you will likely stop using them. There are a variety of ways to heighten their comfort level.
- Consider Custom Orthotics
As discussed, buying an OTC product is not always a good idea. Custom orthotics will provide a perfect fit for your foot. It is advised to get a biomechanical assessment and a clinical gait analysis. These target the source of your foot pain. A scan can be performed to get a perfect fit as well. Also, your range of motion, toe position, and other important aspects will be tested so that you receive a prescription that relieves your foot problems.
- Be Aware of Your Footwear
Since poor-fitting shoes can cause your orthotics to fail, it is best to consult with your pedorthist about your footwear. When you receive a new pair, you should bring several pairs of your shoes to make sure that they all work with the products.
- Use a Proper Break In Technique
Since your feet have been functioning in a misaligned manner, your new orthotics should help to place your feet in the proper position so that fatigue and pain are relieved. Instead of breaking in your orthotics, you are actually breaking in your feet. For many people, orthotics feel uncomfortable in the beginning. Orthotics change the way that your feet muscles work. Indeed, it takes time to get used to functioning with your feet in a new form. To begin, you should wear your orthotics for approximately 60 minutes the first day. The next few days, you can increase this time by a few hours. If they begin to hurt, you should take them off. However, you must return to wearing them the next day. Waiting too long will make the break in process even longer and more painful. After a few weeks, the end goal is to wear them full-time. On average, it takes a person two weeks to begin feeling totally comfortable. If you still do not feel relief after this set time, you should go back for another fitting.
- Remove Orthotics During Strenuous Activity
When you perform strenuous activities, is may be wise to remove your orthotics. This type of exercise is taxing on your feet and can cause pain from your orthotics. However, if your feet are comfortable with the inserts in place, you can continue to wear them.
- Maintain Your Orthotics
Orthotics are an investment. Therefore, when you find a pair that brings you comfort, you should treat them with care. You should follow all instructions and keep them clean. They should never be exposed to moisture or heat. When they begin to feel as though they are not offering adequate support, it may be time for a replacement.
How Orthotics Work
Orthotics are designed as shoe inserts to correct foot imbalances and to offer extra support to these parts of your body. As you stand or move, they change the pressure that travels from the ground to your feet. By changing this force, it is possible to achieve better function and to lower extra forces that may cause injuries.
Depending on the location of your foot pain, your orthotic can be designed to include features that alter the location, magnitude, and timing of a force that acts on your foot. These forces usually cause mechanical injuries.
Also, orthotics help send sensory feedback to your brain so that there is an urge to change your foot’s movement as you walk. Thanks to these signals, your body begins practicing proper feet movements. In the end, this heightens function, helps avoid pain, and prevents injury.
Orthotics Can Help
Orthotics are commonly used to ease feet pain and discomfort. Although they may be uncomfortable in the beginning, proper use and maintenance make them successful at bringing relief to these parts of your body.
For the best fit, visit Care-Med in Toronto who can recommend the correct products or can measure you for a custom-fit item. After you properly break in your inserts, you will notice less aches and more relief during movement.