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Installation and Break In

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Orthotics Break In Instructions:

 Remove all existing arches from shoe that may interfere with the proper positioning of the orthotics. The orthotic should fit in the shoe level and all the way to the back of the heel counters of the shoe without obstruction from the insole. Replacing original insole with flat cushion insoles (I recommend Dr. Scholl's gel insoles) are also acceptable. 
It is best to BREAK IN ORTHOTICS with a new pair of shoes that have NOT been broken down or stretched out. Proper fitting footwear is essential for the orthotic to work correctly.
You should begin by wearing the inserts gradually (1-3 hours per day), building up your wearing time daily by 1 hour per day until you can wear them comfortably all day. If neccessary, you may want to treat the orthotic break in period like a new exercise program. Start yourself on a graduating schedule wearing the orthotics an hour on and an hour off, then 2 hours on , hour off, 4 hours on, hour off, etc.
It is normal to feel the orthotics slightly more or different in one foot than the other for the first few weeks.  These orthotics also have unique properties where you will feel different pressure points and may require additional break in time in these areas even if you have already worn orthotics.
The feeling of walking on a roll of nickels may last as long as 2 weeks. The longer you have been walking on imbalanced feet the more pressure you may feel.
While wearing the orthotics, if you experience any pain that causes you concern STOP wearing and contact the office. an adjustment may be needed.


 Be Patient, Don't Give Up ................... The Results Will Be Long Lasting.

Fitting and Wearing 

1. Your orthotics have been custom-made based on your digital scan in our office, but your shoes are not. Orthotics that don't appear to fit correctly in "store-bought" shoes is usually a good indication that the shoe size isn't correct.

According to The Brannock Device Company, shoe sizes and foot sizes are not the same. It's important that the foot has enough room in the shoe for comfort and performance.

Proper fitting shoes are a must.

Therefore, I recommend that you have your feet measured for length and width at least once a year, using the Brannock Device. If you have experienced significant fluctuations in weight, then more frequent measurements may be necessary.

2. Old, worn shoes and custom-made orthotics are not a good combination. Shoes that are too soft and broken down can't provide the support the foot needs to bear the weight of the spine. Investigators have found that "Alteration of normal foot mechanics can adversely influence the normal functions of the ankle, knee, hip, and even the back." {1}

Inadequate support from patients' shoes will cause your spine to be exposed to abnormal stresses and strains that eventually result in recurrent subluxations and interference with your chiropractic correction. The corrections a new orthotic prescription provides are so important that recommending a new shoe to accompany the orthotic is essential.

3. Different shoes need different orthotics. The basics are simple:

A. Shoes with laces = full-length orthotics.

B. Shoes without laces = 3/4-length orthotics.

It might also indicate that, because your wear different styles of shoes during the day (a slip-on at work and an athletic shoe at home, for example), a second style of custom orthotics might be necessary to achieve all-day support.

Which leads us to another point.

Fashionable shoes are not very functional. High heels are almost impossible to fit with orthotics. Additionally, wearing heels concentrates abnormal forces on the ankle and rear foot, relative to the forefoot. 

4. If the orthotic appears to be too wide, usually after wearing the orthotic for a few days, it will take on a concave appearance and -- to a degree -- mold to the shoe. Consequently, it will slip in and out of the shoes more easily after several days of wear.



I recommend several exercises to help you get through the adaptation process and experience a more rapid improvement in symptoms.

The following "golf ball exercise" should be done in the mornings and evenings to break up any fixation in the foot which may slow the adaptation process. This exercise has proved to be very successful with athletes. It hastens the break-in time and, as a result, athletes wear their orthotics for competition much sooner.

The "golf ball exercise." Ask the patient to sit in a chair, drop a golf ball on the floor (a Coke bottle could be used, as well as any round object), and place a foot on it. For about five minutes, rotate the foot on the ball with as much pressure as is comfortable. Repeat the process with the other foot.

The following toe crunch exercise helps you strengthen weak muscles in your feet, and should be performed six times a day.

Toe crunches. Sit barefoot in a chair. Lay a towel or similar cloth flat on the floor and "scrunch" up the towel -- first, with the toes of his or her right foot, then with the left foot.

Ankle/calf stretch. For this exercise, stand facing the wall, left foot forward. Keeping the right leg straight and in place, bend the left knee, put hands on the wall, and lean forward slowly. Leg positions are then reversed and the exercise is repeated.



{1}. Katoh Y, et al. "Biomechanical analysis of foot function during gait and clinical applications." Clin Orthop Rel Res 1983; 177:23-33.

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