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Orthotics Advice Sheet


Upon receiving your new pair of prescription orthotic devices, there are a few issues we need to address. When used correctly they will provide years of comfort and support. Please read the following instructions on care and use very carefully in order to understand the proper use essential for maximum benefit and adaptation to the devices. Due to the fact that these foot orthoses improve the function of the foot, they will change the muscles, control, and position of the foot, and the relationship between the foot and the leg. In order to adapt to these changes, it is important to gradually increase the use of orthotics over the next 2-6 weeks.

Initial wearing in process

It is best to slowly progress from a very short interval to eventually wear the orthotics for a full day.

Begin with two hours the first day in a controlled environment and increase the time wearing the device by one hour per day. Each person and foot are unique and will require a different amount of time to break-in the orthotics. Please note: It is possible to experience tiredness and mild discomfort specifically around the foot arch, leg, knee, or hip. Please consult your podiatrist if there’s pain experienced as this may need addressing. These symptoms will disappear in a short period of time as your entire body posture realigns itself and functions more efficiently.

You should schedule a review appointment to be seen in about 2 weeks. At that time, you may be wearing your orthotic devices comfortably for 8 or more hours per day. It is possible that your orthotics device may require some small changes or adjustments to improve their function or make them more comfortable. If you get irritation areas, stop and notify the office.

After successfully completing the break-in process, wear the device as close to 100% of the time spent on your feet to ensure the most rapid recovery. While this is ideal, we understand that most people will wear them approximately 50- 60% of the time after the break-in period. Only after completing the break-in period, and successfully wearing for at least 8 hours per day, should you consider using the devices for higher impact activities such as running and other sports. It is normal to feel odd while wearing orthotics.

Device care

Orthotics may be cleaned with soap and cool water on a damp cloth. Do not use warm or hot water on the orthosis, as this may distort the devices or loosen the top cover adhesive. Avoid submerging the devices in water. Sometimes the orthotics squeak. To eliminate this, sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder in your shoes this will eliminate the friction that causes the squeak.

We advise that you book in for a yearly review of orthotics to check the level of correction and condition of the overall device.

Follow up

After the break-in period, the most common concern is that the orthotic is too high or too hard. If you are unable to adjust to wearing the orthotics for a full day after the break-in period, the orthotics may need less correction than what is originally prescribed. In some circumstances, we do add changes or make modifications to the prescription in order to adjust for less correction or more comfort. Do not expect more than a 20-30% improvement in your symptoms in the first 3 weeks. In some cases, there are additional therapies that may be employed during this initial period. During your first 6 weeks of orthotic therapy, we advise exercises to help soft tissue adapt to the new postural changes.

We expect that most patients will wear their orthotic between 50-60% of their walking or standing hours, which should include exercise, and work or school. We expect that the remainder of the time will be spent without the orthotics, but obviously, more wear of the orthotics is beneficial. Most orthotics last between five and seven years, while some patients wear them much longer. We recommend that you change the orthotic after five years if you are very active and athletic with the devices.

The fabric on the top of the orthotics will wear to a point in which these materials will need to be replaced, usually within one to two years. The cost of refurbishment ranges from 40-60. Please feel free to call our team if you have any questions or concerns regarding your orthotics. We hope you enjoy your new orthotics and that they improve your activity and function.


Calf / Arch Stretch (Weight Bearing)

Why do this exercise?

To stretch the muscle in the arch of the foot and the calf

How to do this exercise:

  1. This exercise is best done on a step. If you don’t have a step accessible, use a telephone book instead.
  2. Stand with the ball on your foot on the step.
  3. Reach for the bottom of the step with your heel until a stretch is felt through the arch of the foot.
  4. Hold the stretch for 10-12 seconds.

Tennis Ball (Plantar Tissue Stretch)

Why do this exercise?

This exercise relieves the tension in the ligaments and muscles on the bottom of your feet and stimulates blood flow in the area. If you find that the first few steps of your day are painful, this exercise will help.

How to do this exercise:

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair with the tennis ball under your toes
  2. Roll the ball from your toes to your heel, applying as much pressure as you can tolerate
  3. Roll the ball around in small circles on your forefoot (from your toes to under the ball of your foot)
  4. Now roll the ball around in small circles on your arch (from the end of the ball of your foot to the beginning of your heel)
  5. Then roll the ball around in small circles on your heel.
  6. Repeat the above process on your other foot.

Golf Ball (Trigger Point)

Why do this exercise?

To free up specific restrictions in your feet.

How to do this exercise?

  1. Sit on the edge of your seat with your feet on the ground.
  2. With your toes on the ground, lift the rest of your foot and place the golf ball under the inside section of your arch
  3. Move the golf ball around until you feel a particular tender point
  4. Place as much pressure on the golf ball as you can uncomfortably bear. After the first 8 seconds the tenderness may subside, if it does, increase the pressure again

For more information about Orthotics

If you would like additional information about your orthotics or to discuss how we may be able to help with your queries, please contact us using the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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