The Centers for Sports Medicine at Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco have years of experience fitting arthritis patients, athletes and others with orthotic devices. Some of the instructions they provide to individuals just getting their first orthotics include the following:
Phase in wearing your orthotic shoe inserts.
Start with one hour the first day and increase your wearing time each day, until you can wear them seven hours a day. (Don’t get discouraged if it takes you longer than a week to adjust to them. Everyone adjusts to orthotics at their own unique rate.)
Wear your orthotic device with socks or stockings in the beginning to reduce irritation to your skin.
Check with the person who prescribed your orthotics about what shoes you should wear them with. Remember that orthotics worn with supportive shoes were shown in a recent study to provide the best pain relief for arthritic feet.
If your orthotics squeak when you walk, use a little talcum powder in your shoes, or put paraffin wax on the front of the orthotic. Clean your orthotic with mild soap and lukewarm water, as needed. Don’t use hot water because it can change the orthotic’s shape.
If your orthotic breaks or is damaged in any way, notify your foot care professional and have a new device made. A broken orthotic can lead to more pain.