Orthotics – You might have seen them in the supermarket, heard of a friend using them, or read about them online, but exactly what are orthotic inserts, and are they worth getting?
To help you answer this question, we have pulled together all the common questions that our team gets asked about orthotic inserts and provide you everything you need to know about custom orthotics for shoes.
First of all, “what are custom orthotic inserts?”
During an initial assessment for any problem, our physical therapists will look at the whole body and will consider whether your feet are contributing to the issue. A free foot and posture scan will be completed and if it seems appropriate, our team may offer to tell you about your options with orthotic inserts.
Orthotic inserts fit inside your footwear and the most common purpose is to provide support to the foot and ankle and normalize the distribution of weight throughout your foot. This can significantly reduce tension, stiffness and discomfort in your entire body, improve your balance as well as prevent injuries.
The consequences of having your feet in the incorrect position can be muscular imbalances, and this leads to overuse of certain muscles – typically the muscles in and around the knee, hips and lower back, as these muscles have to take over the job of keeping your body aligned.
“Are orthotic inserts uncomfortable?”
Custom orthotic inserts that are properly fitted should not cause any pain, however they may feel a little strange at first – similar to wearing a new pair of shoes, however it should go away relatively quickly.
The discomfort experienced by orthotic inserts is due to your foot being placed into a more natural or “neutral” position; one that it may not be used to.
“When should I wear orthotic inserts?”
Initially, you should build up how often and how long you wear your orthotic insoles to help minimize any discomfort. Our team can provide advice to you in relation to when to increase your usage over the first few days, and weeks, depending on your condition and other factors.
Once you have got used to your orthotic insoles, you will typically see the greatest benefit from wearing them the majority of the day.
“How long does it take to get used to orthotics?”
This can vary depending on the person and depending on their condition, how consistently they wear them, and how often they spend on their feet. However, for the vast majority of people, it should only take a few weeks to get used to them.
“Will I need to get new shoes?”
You should be able to wear your orthotics with any of your existing footwear, including but not limited to work shoes, comfort shoes, running trainers, ladies fashion such as heels, and walking/hiking boots. Depending on your favorite types of shoes, we can recommend different orthotic options that would fit best in your favorite shoe types.
“How long do orthotic inserts last?”
Orthotic insert lifespan will depend on the quality of the material, and manufacturing process. A high quality orthotic will often last 2-5 years depending on how often they are worn.
“What are the benefits of orthotic inserts?”
A good set of inserts (yes, there are bad orthotic inserts which can actually make the pain worse), should provide natural, drug-free pain relief which we know is a massive benefit of orthotics.
Here are just a few of the many advantages of custom orthotics over off-the-shelf shoe inserts and related products found at retailers:
- Precise fit and Customization
- Complete Arch Support of all 3 Arches (The line we carry is the only one that will support all 3 arches of the feet)
- Joint Pain Reduction
- Lower Back Pain Reduction
- Help with athletic performance/fewer injuries
Benefits of Orthotic Inserts – No Painkillers
We know that lots of people who are struggling with knee, hip or lower back pain in the Lake Country area are frustrated that the standard advice from their doctor is usually to rest and take pain killers, however this doesn’t really offer the long term solution that they want (plus there is the risks involved with regular use of painkillers).
This is one of the many reasons that orthotic inserts for your shoes are a great solution as they can provide significant pain relief without having to take painkillers.
Benefits of Orthotic Inserts – Easy To Use
You can put your orthotic inserts into your shoes and forget about them. They will do their job at supporting and aligning your foot, which will lead to a reduction in pain, stiffness and poor mobility.
“How do I tell the difference between good and bad orthotics?”
It’s actually quite simple to tell the difference between good and bad orthotic insoles because to ensure that they will do the job, you will need to have an assessment beforehand.
At Balance Within Physical Therapy, we scan each foot to identify the exact specifications that your orthotic inserts need to be and send this information to a lab where your orthotics are custom made.
The scanning process is completed using an electronic kiosk device which takes various measurements and images. The scans shouldn’t cause any discomfort and are very quick.
By doing this, we ensure the fastest and most effective pain relief from your symptoms.
Compare this to buying orthotic inserts off the shelf from a shoe retailer or supermarket. There is virtually no chance of those orthotics being right for you because of the uniqueness of each person.
“How do I find out more about orthotic insoles?”
At Balance Within Physical Therapy located in downtown Delafield, we would like to invite you to a free consultation to find out more about orthotics so you can decide for yourself whether they would be right for you.
Contact our team on 262-264-8701 or arrange a free discovery consultation, where you can speak to a member of our team, and ask any questions that you have.
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