PAL Health Technologies handcrafts each orthotic to the measurements of each patient’s foot as provided by their doctor.
Your cast impressions are sent to our lab. There, orthoses are fabricated to your prescription.
Even so, you will need to give your feet some time to adjust to the orthoses. Think of it as a new exercise. The musculoskeletal system doesn’t like abrupt change, even if it’s a change in the right direction.
Ease into your orthoses
If you have new orthoses, ease into wearing them for one to two hours the first day and then adding an hour or two each day. By the end of the first week, you should be up to wearing them full time or as directed by your foot specialist.
The right orthotic
Regular orthoses work best in flat, closed-back shoes or athletic shoes. In some women’s shoes, slippage may occur but this should diminish over time. If it doesn’t stop after six weeks, or if the orthoses rock over the arches, try different shoes or a different shoe style. For heels higher than 1 ½ inches, specifically designed orthoses should be worn.
Depending on your level of activity and the type of orthoses you have, you may need special sports orthoses in addition to your everyday orthoses. Specially constructed sports orthoses help to protect your feet during specific activities. Talk with your foot specialist.
How to clean your orthoses
Don't submerge your orthoses in water. Instead, use a damp cloth with mild soap and cool water. It’s also OK to clean the top covers with a cleaning product that contains alcohol and a cloth hand towel. Don’t use warm or hot water because they may distort or reduce the effectiveness of the orthoses.
If your orthotic squeaks
Sometimes, an orthotic can squeak. To reduce moisture and friction, sprinkle a little talcum powder in your shoe or add paraffin to the front edge of the orthotic. This will reduce the friction that causes an orthotic to squeak. In rare instances, talcum powder may not be enough. If that’s the case, place a thin flat cloth or foam sock liner between the shoe and orthotic.
Check back with your doctor
Over time, your foot function may change, which may require changes in your orthoses prescription. Regular visits to your foot specialist will ensure that your orthoses are working properly in relation to the current condition of your feet.
If you damage or lose your orthoses
If you lose or damage your orthoses, contact your prescribing practitioner for a replacement or repair. He or she must authorize service requests. For people who purchased the Safe & Sound warranty, PAL Health Technologies will cover the cost of required repairs and replacements of your orthoses, arising from normal wear, for two years. Additional warranties are available for purchase.
Next time, we will discuss misconceptions about foot health and orthoses.
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Paul Swiech is vice president of communications with PAL Health Technologies. Before he joined PAL, he was a newspaper reporter for 37 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and exercising.