Orthotics improve the overall function of your feet and lower leg by optimising the efficiency of your walking and running gait.
This aims to be part of your overall management plan in order to decrease your pain and improve your day to day comfort. Orthotics not only allow for injured
structures to heal, they also minimise the risk of future problems and can decrease the rate of osteoarthritic degeneration.
Wearing Orthotics in
Orthotics alter muscle function along with foot and leg position, therefore recruiting different structures during your standing, walking and running gait.
These structures (feet, ankles, knees, hips, lower back) are likely to undergo mild to moderate adaptation soreness as you adopt to this new functional foot position
It is therefore vitally important that you wear your orthotics in gradually as detailed below:
Day 1= 1-2 hours
Day 2= 2-3 hours
Day 3 = 3-4 hours
And so until you can wear them all day every day.
Sports – Once you’re are able to wear your orthotics all day without pain or discomfort, you should aim to introduce them to your sporting shoes as specified by your Podiatrist
Footwear Advice for best support with Orthotics
The importance of footwear cannot be over emphasised. The best orthotic in the world will be ineffective unless you wear them in the correct shoe providing a stable, shock-absorbent base.
It is important to address the shoes you wear for the bulk of your weight bearing load – this will give you optimum comfort and decrease your pain and risk of injury.
- Work shoes
- Sports shoes
- School shoes
- Casual/Weekend shoes
There are 3 man features you will look for when evaluating shoes. These criteria are true for both runner and dress/casual shoes.
FIRM HEEL COUNTER
The area on the back is the heel counter. The heel counter must be stable in order to support your foot and the orthotic. You should not be able to squeeze the heel counter in.
The shoe should also be very stable through the mid-sole – the front of the shoe should not be able to twist easily on the back part. You should also make sure that it only bends where your toes naturally bend not in the middle of the toes.
The shoe should also be firm in the area on the inside of the mid-sole. Runners will have different densities of foam, air or gel in the mid-sole. If this material is too soft the shoe will collapse under your foot allowing your foot to pronate (roll in) too much. A firm mid-sole will prevent the shoe from collapsing underneath your foot.