Essential Tips for Using Orthotic Inserts
Whether it's because you're experiencing some foot pain or to prevent complications associated with diabetes, using orthotics can become a life-changing experience. Although there are lots of positive changes, you may find that you go through an adjustment period. With the right advice, making the most of your custom-made inserts is possible.
Take your orthotics with you when trying on shoes
In some cases, you may find that your orthotics fit perfectly inside your existing footwear. However, there's also a chance that you'll need to buy new shoes. Whether you're doing this because of the size of your inserts or because you simply need a new pair, always take your inserts along. By doing so, you can test them out alongside your new footwear and avoid buying shoes that aren't suitable.
Gradually increase your wear time
If you're new to wearing orthotics, it's normal to feel a little uncomfortable with wearing them. Some patients find that they can overcome this by gradually increasing the amount of time they spend with their inserts inside their shoes. You may want to start with one hour on the first day, two hours on the second, and so on. Before long you'll find that wearing them throughout the day feels normal.
Recognise when to contact your podiatrist
Although some unusual sensations are normal when you first start wearing inserts, you need to recognise the difference between mild discomfort and pain. If your inserts are slipping around or causing unwanted pressure in a particular area, you may need a new set. If you have diabetes, it's important to perform visual checks of your feet too, as any peripheral nerve damage you have may prevent you from feeling the pain that comes with insert injuries.
Know how to dry shoe inserts correctly
Ideally, you will prevent your new inserts from becoming wet. Although some sweat is acceptable, soaking-wet inserts are likely to change shape as they dry. As a result, they may not support your feet as well as you would like. If they do become wet or if you use an approved cleaner to wash them, leave them to air dry at room temperature. Heat is more likely to cause warping than normal temperatures, which makes radiators and tumble dryers a no-go.
Overall, always make sure you ask your podiatrist any questions you have about orthotic inserts. Doing so gives you the best chance of using yours correctly and without discomfort.