Frequently Asked Questions
What is an orthotic and what does it do?
- An orthotic is a device that fits in a shoe and is designed to hold your foot in a balanced position. They are generally removable and should fit in most of your active footwear.
Will it correct my foot?
- No, it will correct foot function. We use an analogy comparing orthotics with eyeglasses. Eyeglasses don't correct your eyes they correct your vision.
Is it true that people wear orthotics for knee pain?
- Yes. Any pain in the skeleton, which can be related to foot imbalance, might be helped with orthotics.
How would I know if I need orthotics?
- You would have pain or discomfort in your foot or lower extremity, and you would know or suspect you have foot imbalance.
Do I have to wear orthotics at all times?
- The eyeglass analogy works well here. Some people use their eyeglass for reading, some for driving, etc. When it comes to orthotics it depends on two things - the demands on your foot and the degree to which the foot has faulty structure.
Will I have to wear them forever?
- See previous question. For instance, if you need them for running only and stop running, you probably won't need orthotics. Conversely if you need them for working and then as long as you work you will need them.
What are soft orthotics made of?
- Our soft orthotics are made of shock absorbable material called thermoplastics. They vary in thickness and density depending on the particular needs of the patient.
How often do they need to be replaced?
- Soft orthotics wear out sooner - the useful life can be from two to three years.
Do I have to come back each time I need new ones?
- Yes. Our soft orthotics are made from a direct mold. Your foot molds the material, which becomes the orthotic.
What is a direct mold and why do you use direct mold?
- A direct mold is a weight bearing impression of the foot placed in a neutral position. We use this system for our soft orthotics because it gives us a very accurate model of the foot in its corrected position.
I have read about functional orthotics. What are they?
- Usually that term is applied to those orthotics that are often made of rigid or semi-rigid materials that are aimed a controlling or managing the function of the foot. It should be pointed out that all orthotics affect the foot function some more then others.
I have also read about accommodative orthotics. Are they different?
- An accommodative orthotic is usually made of a pressure redistributing material such as man-made foam materials. It does not try to alter the direction of the foot, rather is accommodates the foot by dispersing the weight.
Can I expect orthotics to improve my sports performance?
- It depends on the sport. When the foot is fixed to something other than the shoe or boot i.e. cycling, skiing - downhill, cross-country or water, or skating we can say yes. In other sports when the foot is free and we find more variables that relate to performance so we say perhaps. They certainly won't inhibit performance.
Do I need to go to the doctor to get orthotics?
- The eyeglass analogy works again. Just as you can buy "over the counter" eyeglasses, you can also purchase prefabricated orthotics made of different materials. However, prescription orthotics, like eyeglasses require medical evaluation and management.
Could orthotics hurt me?
- They could cause abnormal pressures which lead to skin irritation or breakdown. They could also create an imbalance in the skeleton causing pain and discomfort therefore immediate re-evaluation and alterations would be indicated.
How often should I have a check up?
- A routine follow up might be necessary in about 2-3 weeks if your symptoms do not subside or if you feel something is wrong. As time goes on "fine tuning" might be required. Our experience is that a six-month checkup is always in order.
G&P Custom Orthotics - All Rights Reserved
22 Horseshoe Lane, Clinton, MA 01510
Office: (781) 391-7045
Cell: (617) 962-1621
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