Frequently Asked Questions About Orthotics

Orthotic styles, shapes, and costs can vary so much from one provider to another, that people often become confused and dismayed by the idea of ever purchasing a pair. This in turn has led many to seek cheap, prefabricated store-bought inserts in the hope of some desperate form of relief. Of course, not all orthotics out there are equally effective, while many are not effective at all... some can even be harmful if prepared wrong.

Let Alté View help to answer your questions about our orthotics and empower your decision making process.

HOW DO ORTHOTICS WORK?


Orthotics are specially contoured insoles, perfectly formed to fit the natural, strongest position of your foot's posture. By providing mechanical support and tactile stimulation at the soles of the feet, they subconsciously shift the way you stand to create a healthier alignment for the bones, joints, and muscles of your lower body. When your body is in better alignment there is less stress and strain on the injured regions and tissue healing can be expedited.




WHAT CONDITIONS DO ORTHOTICS TREAT?


Orthotics can be used to treat a multitude of musculoskeletal conditions/injuries related to walking, running, and poor standing posture. Such common conditions include plantar fasciitis, foot pain, shin splints, tendinitis, Morton's neuromas, and bunions. However, because orthotics are founded on the principle of restoring alignment and strength to the entire body, they have also been used to treat knee, hip, sacral, and even low back pain.




DO ORTHOTICS HURT?


Orthotics should never hurt. However, because your body will gradually be re-adjusting its weight and posture on top of the orthotic, temporary soreness and achiness of the muscles in the lower body is to be expected. This usually lasts about 2 weeks and is mitigated by introducing the orthotic into your shoes through a gradual, controlled process. Ultimately, you should not notice the orthotic's presence at all under your foot, and would only complain of discomfort and pain when it is taken away.




HOW OFTEN WOULD THE ORTHOTICS HAVE TO BE WORN?


Orthotics are a convenient, posture-corrective system that fits easily into most varieties of closed back shoes. Because their principle aim is to change the way your body stands and moves, they should be worn at all times for maximum benefit. In order for your body to "learn to change" with use of the orthotics, your feet have to be in constant contact with the corrective inserts. Rare non-use is acceptable, such as when walking barefoot at the beach or when taking a shower. Switching back and forth, or wearing "only when running," can cause greater problems and should definitely be avoided.




HOW ARE THE ORTHOTICS MADE?


The orthotics are cast from a foam mold of each of your feet. This is done in a seated, semi-weightbearing position in order to more closely recreate the ideal alignment of the foot bones when standing. Your feet will be examined and assessed by our practitioners, at which time specific questions related to body weight, shoe size, and goals for use will be asked. Aesthetic options, such as color, length, and cover material are left up to the patient's discretion. The cast and exam findings are then sent to Sole Supports laboratory for manufacturing.




CAN I ORDER MORE THAN ONE ORTHOTIC FOR DIFFERENT SHOES?


Once the original cast is made off of your ideal foot position, you can order any variation in color, size, and style to fit whatever shoes or sneakers you wear. If you want a duplicate copy of your orthotic for use in a second pair of shoes, Alternative View would offer significantly reduced pricing options.




WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALTERNATIVE VIEW'S ORTHOTICS AND OTHERS?


Alternative View uses Sole Supports laboratories to fabricate your orthotics based on ideal bioengineering principles of natural foot control and walking movements. The orthotic has to be strong enough to support your weight, but also flexibile and resilient enough to allow appropriate recoil, or spring, as you step off from it. As a result, Sole Supports lab uses a specially calibrated plastic resin at varying thicknesses, dependent upon on the weight of your body, in order to mimic the biologic functions of the ligaments and tendons in your feet. More importantly, the orthotic's arch construction is set at full supination for maximum support, far above the typical-orthotic's neutral positioning.




WHAT IF THE ORTHOTIC DOESN'T FIT RIGHT?


The orthotic has to fit your foot perfectly. You are making a long-term health investment, so its comfortability cannot be inadequate. It is occasionally the case that the orthotic needs modifications and may even have to be sent back to Sole Supports laboratories for revision. In the end, as long as you are following the recommended guidelines of wear, you should always be satisfied that the orthotic feels right in your shoe.




CAN ORTHOTICS BE USED IN HIGH HEELS OR DESIGNER SHOES?


Orthotics are designed to be used atop a level surface for best results, but can be specifically made to fit unconventional shoes. A heel height of 0.5 inches or less would typically not require specialized modifications. Although highly modified orthotics can be used in high heels, the natural alteration in foot biomechanics may impair their effectiveness compared to standard versions. In addition, the effective length of the orthotic only needs to extend to the arch and can be trimmed to fit in narrow or open toed shoes.




HOW LONG WILL THE ORTHOTIC LAST?


The orthotics are durably made from a tough and resilient plastic. The longevity of your orthotic will be determined by activity levels, frequency of use, and general care. Although all orthotics come with a 1 year warranty policy, many report good use for at least 3 years and some people have even had them for as long as 5 to 10.





© 2018 Alternative View Acupuncture and Physical Therapy, PLLC

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