A person spends a lot of time on his feet, standing or moving, while his feet experience serious stress and fatigue, which orthopedic insoles will help to cope with. They contribute to the correct distribution of the load and perform amortization functions. They are used to treat children’s flat feet, to reduce the progression of foot deformities in adults and associated musculoskeletal disorders. Orthopedic insoles improve blood circulation in the lower limbs, reduce stress, and eliminate pain when walking. Women who love high heels cannot do without them, as all the load falls on the front of the feet. Due to this, deformation of the transverse arch occurs. For them, special thin models made of leather and foam materials (in the area of the arches) have been developed, which take up a minimum of space in the shoes.
Selection of insoles by functional purpose
• Models with a hard plastic instep and a shock absorber under the heel that absorbs shocks. They reduce the load on the spine and joints and distribute body weight evenly over the area of the foot.
• With insoles made of foamed materials — used in model shoes or shoes with heels;
• Semi-insoles — are available with supination of rigid or foamed latex. The latter are suitable for shoes with high heels or open shoes;
• Diabetic — with a rigid instep or with a semi-rigid frame base. The part of the product adjacent to the foot is made of foamed polyethylene;
• Sports — designed for heavy loads, with a rigid instep, gel, made of high-tech fiber, absorbs moisture well, etc.;
• Children’s — with hard or semi-hard instep, for prevention, correction of flat feet, correction of valgus feet, flat feet. Made of perforated leather or suede.
These orthopedic products are recommended to be used to prevent flat feet. They are indicated for people who have dry skin on the feet, on which cracks appear, heel spurs and suffer from psoriasis. It is an elastic material, the feet do not slip, discomfort and fatigue do not occur. Thanks to the antibacterial coating, the likelihood of fungal diseases and unpleasant odors is reduced. Such models are suitable for sports, as they absorb moisture. They are practical, durable, have a porous structure and can be used for open shoes. It is not advisable to wear them for more than 16 hours in a row and with open sores on the feet. Although the manufacturer indicates on most models that the shelf life is unlimited, it is better to change silicone products every 3 months.
Gel products are an alternative to silicone insoles. Their regular use helps to get rid of swelling and pain in the lower limbs and back. They have the following advantages:
— Ease of care;
— Easily adjusts to the shape of the feet;
— Can be worn with any type of shoes.
It is also not advisable to use gel products for more than 6 months. Before starting operation, it is necessary to clean the inside of the shoes and dry them well. The first week is worn 3-4 hours a day so that the legs get used to it.
Models with a rigid base are called frame models. This type of construction provides feet with reliable support. They are suitable for everyday use in closed shoes. Frame models are recommended for users with a high arch. Longitudinal supinator does not deform even under heavy loads. Some models have shock-absorbing cushions. Such products are intended for people who have to walk a lot or stand for a long time. Like most insoles, they should be replaced every 6 months, but if this is not possible, you can wear them a little longer, since they do not lose their shape even after long-term use.
Depending on the model, insoles with a rigid (semi-rigid) instep are designed for patients with transverse, longitudinal or combined flat feet. The difference is in the laying out of the vaults. In models to combat the deformation of the transverse arch, a metatarsal pad is provided under it. For the correction of longitudinal flat feet, the products have a rigid or semi-rigid instep. Those diagnosed with longitudinal-transverse flat feet are prescribed insoles with a pelot under the transverse arch, an instep, and a shock-absorbing pad under the heel. They significantly reduce the load on the spine, joints, and improve blood flow.
In some cases, orthopedists strongly recommend individual insoles, rather than mass-produced products. Doctors prescribe them for more serious foot deformities, diabetes, children, and the elderly. They are made taking into account all the features and problem areas, which are individual in each case, therefore it is forbidden to wear other people’s products.
The main advantages of individually made insoles:
• modeling on the patient’s foot;
• reducing the load on the joints (knee, ankle, hip) and spine;
• improvement of blood circulation;
• posture correction;
• improving the operation of the musculoskeletal system;
• reduction of fatigue, elimination of pain.
When to start using orthopedic insoles for children?
It is recommended to buy orthopedic insoles for a child in the following cases:
genetic predisposition to flat feet;
increased elasticity of the feet;
the diagnosis is flat feet, varus or valgus deformity;
congenital abnormality of the development of the feet;
post-traumatic or postoperative period.
If the doctor has not prescribed an individual plan, you can start using the products from 2-3 years of age. You should not panic if flat feet is detected before the age of 7-8, because at this age the ligaments are extensible and pliable, so the pathology noticed in time is well corrected.
Installation and getting used to orthopedic insoles
It is important that the product is selected strictly according to the size of the foot. If it is a model with a hard instep or individually made products, then the shoes should be the size of the insole to avoid discomfort and chafing. Before installing the product in the shoe, make sure that there is no other insole inside or pull it out. The most important question that concerns users is how to wear orthopedic insoles? Discomfort is possible for the first 1-2 weeks. This mainly applies to individual models, the feet get used to others much faster. If after this period the unpleasant sensations do not go away, then consult a doctor or craftsman, or the individual insole needs correction. When the feet get used to it, the insoles are worn every day and constantly throughout the day, you can even put them in indoor slippers. The duration of wearing for children is determined by the doctor, it depends on the age and degree of flattening of the feet. Usually, children are recommended to use until adolescence. Those who started using it later, already as a teenager — before the onset of youth.