High heels are getting a lot of attention for the damage they cause to feet but it doesn’t seem to put people off. In fact, I see many women who come into the salon all dolled up, wearing their high heels. I, myself only wear them on special occasions.
If you DO insist on wearing high heeled shoes (and other shoes which may damage your feet), you can get orthotics. You do not require a referral by a chiropodist or another medical expert such as a Physiotherapist or Osteopath to obtain an orthotic device however it is recommended to visit a chiropodist to undergo a proper examination. Orthotics are also made from different materials and the type of material determines if it is a ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ orthotic. Your chiropodist will ensure that the orthotic is made of the appropriate material according to the requirements of your foot condition and body type.
If you are going in for your first consultation with a Chiropodist to look at getting an orthotic support, it is important to ensure that you bring along everything that is needed to complete the first medical evaluation. Naturally, you will need the referral (if you have one), any x-rays and previous medical reports on your condition and you should take your sports shoes. Take both your old and new sports shoes (if you have recently bought some). It is recommendable to not buy any new sports shoes until you have undergone the medical evaluation with the Chiropractor.
Your prescribed orthotic will last between two to five years, depending on the amount of wear it gets and whether your feet are growing. The duration also depends on whether they are off-the-shelf or a customized prescription. Customised prescription orthotics are usually more durable than off-the-shelf and require replacement up to five years. The off-the-shelf types are made from less durable material and require replacing up to eighteen months later. It is recommended to replace them at the most every five years.
Orthotics are developed and customized for your feet and should be comfortable to wear. If your feet develop blisters because of the orthotic device you should immediately take them into your chiropodist for an assessment. It may be that they need some adjusting or it may be that you are wearing them incorrectly. The wrong types of socks and shoes may also be the cause and this is why it is important to provide the chiropodist with as much information as possible.
Orthotics are usually covered by the top levels of health funds. It is best to call your private health fund and ask if your level of cover covers orthotics and podiatry. The percentage of rebate will vary depending on the health fund. If you expect to wear orthotics over an extended period of time or permanently and do not have ample health fund cover it is worthwhile upgrading to a higher level that will offer the right type of cover.