When your doctor first recommends orthotics, it’s easy to assume they’ll become a permanent part of your wardrobe. However, in many cases, you may want to wear them less over time or only during certain activities. In some cases, you may even stop wearing them altogether.
After all, orthotics come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They also offer different levels of support for different activities. While some are meant to be worn around the clock, others you may only need to wear at certain times of the day. Your chronic symptoms and ongoing progress may also affect your orthopedic needs.
You may need to wear orthotics for a long time if you have serious problems that prevent you from doing your daily activities, such as flat feet. In this case, orthotics may prevent further injury or more severe symptoms, but you may always need orthotics to correct the problem. These are orthopedic insoles.
You may need orthotics for the short to medium term if you have an injury that needs help to heal properly. Within a few months or a year, your muscles and tendons may fully recover, allowing you to completely stop wearing orthotics.
Instead of wearing orthotics when it’s comfortable or convenient, seek professional advice to find out what’s best for you. Talk to your podiatrist or physical therapist to find out when you should wear braces and when they can be removed. Your health care provider may recommend that you wear orthotics for a certain amount of time each day or when performing repetitive or strenuous activities.
If your symptoms have improved significantly, your healthcare provider may also recommend that you gradually reduce your use of orthotics. For example, as your elbows or wrists get stronger, you may want to wear upper limb orthotics for less time each week or month.
What Happens If You Don’t Wear Orthopedic Products?
If your podiatrist prescribes orthotic aids, it is important to wear them as recommended. If you don’t wear them as prescribed, you could aggravate any muscle or tendon injuries. You may also experience related symptoms such as back, leg, ankle, or elbow pain.
Although some patients worry that orthotics can weaken their muscles or tendons over time, there is no evidence that this belief is true. Instead, orthotics are designed to help your muscles and tendons get stronger and work more efficiently. Because this process takes time, it’s important to follow your care team’s advice for optimal results.
If you want to speed up the strengthening process and stop wearing braces earlier, talk to your podiatrist or physical therapist.