Plantar orthoses are manufactured using footprints, the results of the biomechanical exam, and podographies. They must be worn exclusively by the person for whom they were designed.
Wearing plantar orthoses does not ensure the elimination of all conditions. Some people may have trouble adapting to orthoses. In other, rarer cases, intolerance to orthoses may occur. However, there are good chances that the use of the device will prevent mechanical conditions from worsening, relieve pain, and improve endurance during activities. Here is some useful information.
The adaptation period for wearing orthoses lasts between one and six weeks. During this period, feelings of discomfort, leg cramps, and skin irritation may occur. To avoid these issues as much as possible, follow the following guidelines.
- During the first week, wear the orthoses two hours a day (not consecutively). During the second, third, and fourth week, take 15- to 20-minute breaks when adaptation issues occur, then put the orthoses back into your shoes. Children generally adapt very quickly.
- Always wear socks to reduce risks of skin irritation.
- Wear orthoses in tied shoes or in sports shoes that offer good foot support. If you have any doubt about the type of shoes you should be wearing, ask an assistant for advice.
- Orthoses can be cleaned with a mild soap and lukewarm water (hot water risks causing damage).
- Keep orthoses out of pets’ reach, as they may gnaw on them. Avoid contact with sources of heat. The orthoses risk losing their shape.
- Stabilizers may come off orthoses. If this occurs, it’s important to let the doctor or a clinic assistant know.
When orthoses have been prescribed for pain, partial or total relief should occur between 4 and 5 weeks. If this is not the case, tell your podiatrist during your follow-up visit. If relief is only partial, be patient, as best results may take up to 12 weeks to occur.
Usually, you should have a follow-up appointment within a few weeks of the orthoses’ delivery. For adults, when everything goes well (proper adaptation, comfort, pain relief, achievement of objectives, no questions…), this appointment can be seen as unnecessary, and even be cancelled. More than 3 out of 4 adults opt to cancel this follow-up appointment. However, if you do decide to go to this appointment, make sure to provide your podiatrist with clear information. For children, it’s always preferable to perform routine checks during the follow-up visit.