Do I need to wear my orthotics all of the time?

Why do I need to wear my orthotics all of the time?

If the benefit of any foot control device is related to the changes it creates when we walk and stand, the value is directly related to how much it is used whenever the patient is up on his or her feet.

In fact, if a patient fails to use his or her orthotic during sufficient periods of weight-bearing activity, not only are benefits decreased, but the patient may never fully acclimate to the device.

I have many patients with severe conditions who can feel a return or increase in symptoms with only a few steps without their orthotics properly in place. We have all experienced situations where we were trying to teach a small child or animal a new task or trick.  We know that the more consistent we are in teaching the task correctly, the more successfully the task will be learned.

Acclimating to any change in the way we walk and stand requires a certain degree of consistence in order to feel natural with the changes that are created. Often a patient tells me that their orthotics have significantly reduced their symptoms but at night when they are home, a portion of the symptoms return. This is confusing, as before orthotic use the symptoms were most pronounced during the course of their work day and not when they were home and “off of their feet”.

Brent_A_Jarrett_DPMWhen I hear these comments, I have learned to ask if the patient wears the orthotics around the house when they get home from work. When I learn that they do not because they don’t think they are on their feet much at home or because they do not wear shoes in their home,  I suggest that they humor me and wear them until they go to bed as well as at work and come back to the office in 2 weeks. Inevitably ,the symptoms subside with full time use and the patient learns the importance of wearing the orthotics all of the time.

Orthotics compensate for the angular deformity present in their feet and legs. If they are not used consistently, a portion of the abnormal function, symptoms and deformity will persist, and the patient may never fully acclimate to the changes that are created.

Additionally if you discontinue use of your Theta’s, thinking you are cured, your symptoms are likely to return.

Theta uses a wedge to compensate for a curvature in your lower leg. This changes the way you walk and stand, as it stops chronic pain throughout the human body. Brent A Jarrett DPM