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Comfortable Orthotics

Comfortable orthotics are essential. When seeing patients for the first time, many of them express concerns and reservations when it comes to their orthotics. “I have orthotics but they are uncomfortable” is a comment we often hear. I believe that it is possible to make an orthotic device that fits and feels comfortable for everyone who wears them.

There are going to be some feet that may present as a greater challenge than others. However, with the necessary adjustments and some fine tuning I still think it is possible to design and create an orthotic that provides comfort while providing efficient foot function.

Comfortable orthotics are essential, here are 4 reasons they mightn’t feel right:

Arch Irritation:

Irritation through the arch of the foot is one of the most common reasons people see an orthotic as uncomfortable. The thick tendon like structure under the arch of your foot is called the plantar fas-cia. When your toes flex during walking, this structure tightens and it becomes more pronounced. This movement can cause it to rub up against your orthotic often causing discomfort and irritation. A little adjustment to your orthotic device can easily offload this area and reduce irritation and pain in the arch.

Shape:

The way in which the orthotic shape is designed can have a large role in the comfort. The shape of your orthotic should be designed based on the shape of your arch. The orthotic needs to be well contoured to the inside or medial side of your foot or the orthotic may result in irritation. The shape of the orthotic is also determined by the mechanics of your foot (how your foot functions). This is important as some foot types are not suited to all orthotic shapes and styles. A device that is not shaped right may not function efficiently and may be increasingly uncomfortable.

Width:

The outer side or lateral side of the orthotic also needs to be made wide enough to capture the out-side of the foot. If this part of the device is too narrow, your foot may be sitting on the edge of the orthotic which can cause irritation along the lateral side of your foot.

Shell material and stiffness:

Orthotic devices can be made from various materials with varying degrees of stiffness. To deter-mine the appropriate thickness and stiffness of your orthotic material it is important to understand how much force is required to support or re-position your foot from it natural stance position. A thicker orthotic material is more rigid than a thinner one and hence can provide a greater force back onto the foot. Having too much or too little force may not only render your orthotic ineffective but it can be uncomfortable.

So, as you can see there may be one or more reasons your existing pair of orthotics are not feeling right. If it has been 12 months or longer since you have had your orthotics reviewed or you think your orthotic may need a few changes/adjustments then call the team at Walk On Podiatry or click here to make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists.

Dominic Sanó is a sports podiatrist at Walk On Podiatry Hastings and Walk On Podiatry Chelsea having worked closely with many people suffering sports related and running injuries over the years helping people not only with the treatment of their injuries but also focusing on preventative strategies.