Will I Need to Wear My Orthotic Appliance Forever?

July 31st, 2021
Will I Need to Wear My Orthotic Appliance Forever

Many clients prescribed orthotic appliances may be wondering if they are permanent. Orthotics have risen in popularity recently and are effective for correcting issues related to the feet and ankles. But are they permanent?

In this article, we aim to answer some important orthotic questions. First, we start by looking at what orthotics are and what they aim to achieve. With that information, we can then explain how long individual patients will likely need to use them.

What Are Orthotics?

There are two major types of orthotic appliances, “generic” and “custom”. Generic orthotic appliances are the type that can be purchased without a prescription at drugstores and are usually only recommended for short-term relief from a known issue. They are often called “inserts” to distinguish them from their robust counterparts, as their goal is to provide temporary relief and not permanently correct the underlying issue.

“Custom” orthotics, on the other hand, are specifically shaped to the skeletal structure of your feet. This allows them to focus on the issue in your feet or ankles that need to be addressed. Custom orthotics are prescribed by a licensed professional. Although they can be more expensive than off-the-shelf inserts, they are much more durable and are likely to last much longer than drugstore inserts.

Issues That Orthotics Treat 

Orthotics are a tried-and-true medical appliance used for the treatment of a diversity of conditions afflicting the lower body. They relieve pain in the foot and ankles, speed up recovery from lower leg injuries, and boost stability after foot or ankle surgery. They also treat bunions, calluses, bursitis, and arthritis, as well as pain caused by diabetes.

Orthotic Treatment Time Varies

The length of treatment time depends on individual needs. However, the goal of orthotics is always to eliminate the issue. Although some conditions, such as flat foot, are severe enough where orthotics may need to be worn permanently, patients recovering from injuries or surgery will have a much shorter timeline.

Even patients with severe symptoms can typically expect to gradually lessen orthotic use, only requiring them for specific activities. Although orthotics can be uncomfortable at the very start of treatment, this temporary discomfort could eventually bring permanent relief to foot and ankle conditions and pain.

Total Care Health, based in Surrey, BC, offers science-based therapy in a compassionate environment. They have chiropractors, kinesiologists, physiotherapists, and massage therapists available to help you.

If you have any questions about this article, or you would like to book an appointment with one of our professionals, please call us at (604) 854-3090. We can help with orthotics!


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