Orthotics have been found to universally help people with conditions that affect their ankle and foot. However, for you to get the best support from these inserts, it is imperative that you work closely with a podiatrist. A podiatrist will correctly diagnose your condition and provide you with custom orthotics that offer maximum support.
All in all, while these devices are essential in treating a range of conditions, you may not want to wear them forever. The good news is if you hate wearing orthotics you can absolutely stop wearing them and still experience no discomfort.
However, before you get started, you must know what your foot posture is like without orthotics. It is important that you don’t stop wearing them abruptly. This is more so if you have been wearing orthotics for a long time. It may take between 3 and 6 months for you to completely stop wearing orthotics. This is for the simple fact that the body gets reliant on them and the muscles may weaken over time because they were not used to control the abnormal foot mechanics. With that out of the way, what are the steps you should take to stop wearing orthotics?
- Check your foot posture: You should take note of your foot posture with and without the orthotics.
- Observe how the foot posture is when not wearing orthotics.
- Begin doing strengthening exercises and stretches: These are meant to help reduce strain and stress in the leg and foot muscles. With proper exercises, your foot will have a better ability to hold itself in a neutral position. This will in turn require less support from orthotics. A good exercise you should try is balancing on one leg for at least 30 seconds then raising your toes and maintaining the position for 10 seconds before relaxing. Calf stretches then holding for at least 30 seconds.
- Book an appointment with a podiatrist: A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in leg, ankle, and foot joint mobilization. The doctor will provide the therapy you need to make it easier for your foot to hold and maintain the corrected alignment. The therapy will further enable you to release restrictions in the ankles, feet, and legs that may cause muscle strain or joint pain.
- When visiting a podiatrist, it is important that you ask them to check your walking and standing bio-mechanics as well as loading patterns. If you have bio-mechanical issues, changes will have to be made over an extended period of time to address them.
- Pick supportive footwear: When transitioning from orthotics, you need to use less supportive footwear.
- Transition gradually: You should not stop wearing orthotics abruptly. You need to wean yourself gradually. Start by not wearing them at least 1 hour a day within the first week. In the second week, you can take them off for 2 hours a day. Continue increasing the duration by an hour week after week until you are no longer wearing them for 8 to 10 hours a day. It is okay to wear them during sporting activities. As your feet strengthen, you can wear them during these activities. The process may take 3 months before you stop wearing orthotics completely. If you notice symptoms, the process may take longer.
- Massage the feet: You should massage the area along the arch and around the ankles. Doing so will release tension because these muscles will be working harder during the transition from orthotics.
- Address your running technique and posture: A podiatrist will help change your cadence, strike pattern, and stride length. The podiatrist will also check if there is excessive foot pronation/supination when running and determine if it is the cause of your leg or foot pain.
Call 📞 (905) 239-5001 CP Health today for an assessment orthotics in Ajax and Pickering. We are happy to help you find the best orthotics and also help you through your journey as you transition from them.