Foot orthotics and Canadian Certified Pedorthists provide a vast array of services designed to help patients suffering from a wide range of foot and lower limb conditions, but have you wondered how long it takes to adjust to new orthotics? There are many myths you may have heard about orthotic devices, but one of the most common question we answer at SoleScience is whether the patient should expect new, custom orthotics to cause foot pain. The short answer is no; though there can be an adjustment period when using new foot orthotics, they are custom-designed for each patient and are intended to help your feet, not hurt them.
Should Custom Foot Orthotics Hurt at First?
While some custom foot orthotics need to be firm and corrective, that is not the only style available. Depending on your unique needs, your custom orthotics will be as soft or as firm as required to help you recover from an injury. Orthotics should never cause blisters, increase your current pain level, or cause new problems in your feet or knees. Mild discomfort can occur during the break-in period; however, they should not cause any more discomfort than when breaking in a new pair of shoes.
How Long Will It Take to Get Used to New Orthotics?
Because everyone adapts to orthotics on their own schedule, that is a difficult question to answer. During that break-in period for your custom orthotics, things may feel different from day to day while your body adjusts to being in a more efficient position and experiences pressure in different places. However, it typically only takes about two weeks for the average patient to adjust to their orthotic devices, although some may need more time, and others adapt almost immediately.
How Do I Know if I Need an Orthotic Adjustment?
Since there is no “X-Y-Z” formula for the perfect orthotic, adjustments are a normal part of the process. The following are just a few of the signs indicating you may be due for an orthotic tune-up:
Your foot pain returns, or you are experiencing new pain
If your custom orthotics have stopped relieving your foot pain, it’s a safe bet that an adjustment may be in order. Your orthotics should never cause new or different pain. However, if you are experiencing new pain from wearing your orthotics, see your Pedorthist for an adjustment.
Strange wear patterns on your shoes
If your orthotic devices are doing their job correctly, your shoes should wear down normally. However, if one shoe is wearing down faster than its partner or you notice excessive wear along one sole edge, your orthotics may need to be adjusted.
Visible damage to the orthotic insert
While usually, a scuff or two is not a big deal, if your orthotics are broken or cracked, or areas in the cushioning have worn thin, your orthotics may have a structural problem and need to be brought in for an evaluation.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Because orthotics are custom made to fit individual foot health and gait requirements, it’s not unusual to need some adjustments during the break-in period. However, if your orthotic device is causing foot discomfort after two weeks, or has increased your pain levels, contact your certified Pedorthist.
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