Custom orthotics are tailored to meet your patients’ individual foot structure and needs, but they will only prevent pain and improve performance while in the proper condition.
As you recommend orthotics in your practice, convey the importance of maintaining the shape of this foundational support system to ensure the best results.
You can get the most mileage from your foot orthotics by taking a few simple preventive measures. Follow this general list of 10 do’s and don’ts to maximize their years of usage. Orthotics vary in the materials used to make them, so keep any specific care instructions included with them handy.
1. Do remove your orthotics from your shoes every night so they can air dry. This is particularly necessary if you sweat a lot.
2. Do not put your orthotics into water. If they get wet, remove them from your shoes and let them completely dry before putting them back in.
3. Do not put orthotics in a washing machine or dishwasher.
4. Do clean your orthotics with a clean, damp cloth only if they are dirty. Avoid rubbing them with chemical solvents or other cleaning agents.
5. Do not put orthotics in the dryer.
6. Do keep orthotics away from pets. They may be ruined if chewed.
7. Do get re-evaluated for your foot orthotics if you have significant changes in your physical condition, such as gaining or losing a lot or weight, getting injured, or being pregnant.
8. Do take along your orthotics when buying new shoes. Make sure they fit inside them comfortably. Do not cram them into a pair of shoes. You may need to get one shoe size larger to accommodate your orthotics.
9. Do buy different shapes of orthotics to accommodate different types of shoes, such as sneakers and flip flops. This will optimize their performance and keep them in the right shape.
10. Do not expose orthotics to extreme temperatures. Keeping them in heat or sunshine for a long time can cause them to lose their shape. If they are exposed to severe cold, they may crack.
Karen Appold is a medical writer in Lehigh Valley, PA.