What is a foot orthotic?
A foot orthotic is a brace that can be discretely inserted into a shoe to support, align, prevent and/or help to correct foot deformities, while improving the performance of the foot and lower limbs. If required, all ages can benefit from a foot orthotic. Gait Maxx foot care has on site labs that make custom made foot orthotics and supplies off the shelf foot orthotics as well.
How does a foot orthotic work?
The primary goal of a foot orthotic is to help reduce unnecessary stress and/or pain in the feet, lower limbs, lower back, and general body alignment by realigning your feet within your footwear or accommodating specific conditions or deformities, used in conjunction with appropriate footwear. It is effective in helping to treat a number of foot problems including heel arch and forefoot pain.
Many cushioned insoles are made of gel or soft foam alone. They may seem comfortable at first but without a firm stabilizer, custom made orthotic, they fail to adequately support your feet. Like sleeping on a soft mattress or trying to run in soft sand, the cushioned feeling quickly subsides without proper support. Without proper well made custom made foot orthotics, the body won't be aligned properly.
The feet are the foundation of the entire skeletal system. Even a slight misalignment can allow the arch to collapse and cause foot pain to spread to the knees, hips, back, shoulders and even neck. Strained muscles, spinal distortion and poor posture can follow. Results may include discomfort while walking, difficulty maintaining exercise routines and painful daily activities.
Improper alignment can cause:
- Foot and ankle pain
- Knee stress
- Hip joint stress
- Lower back strain
- Spinal distortion
- Neck Strain
How do I determine if I need a foot orthotic?
If you are experiencing foot or lower limb, lower back, knee, and/or hip discomfort, call us or ask your physician to be referred to Gait Maxx Foot Care. We can help. A detailed assessment can confirm if a foot orthotic will assist you with a particular foot, lower limb or even back problems.
Is a foot orthotic uncomfortable to wear?
Initially, a new foot orthotic may feel intrusive. In fact it can take up to several weeks to get accustomed to it. While there are no set guidelines for how long it takes to get used to wearing your new foot orthotics, it is recommended that you not wear it for more than an hour on the 1st day. Every subsequent day, you should gradually increase the amount of wear time to help your foot become accustomed to it.
This wear time can be as little as an extra 15 minutes to an extra hour a day. It is also strongly recommended that when you get your new foot orthotics that you refrain from high impact activities until you get used to it. It is always best to allow your feet and body time to adjust.
Why won't my foot orthotic fit in all of my shoes?
Depending on the type of foot orthitc you receive, your orthotic may fit in a number of different shoes. However it is important to note some shoes may not be suitable for use with your orthotics due to the following reasons.
- Your foot orthotic is designed with a specific treatment plan in mind. The type of shoe you are required to wear may also be part of the same treatment plan. When you deviate from this plan, you risk affecting the intended results.
- Not all footwear is meant to accommodate a foot orthotic.
- One foot orthotic will not fit every shoe. In fact your initial foot orthotic is more than likely made to fit a deeper type of shoe such as a running shoe, a supportive walking shoe or a boot. In some cases the need for a larger orthotic may diminish, at that point a slimmer foot orthotic may fit into a wider variety of shoes, which may be sufficient to manage symptoms.