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Vasyli Custom Inserts

Orthaheel Inserts, Sandals & Shoes


 
What exactly is an orthotic?

What is the difference between a footbed and an orthotic?

What are orthotics made of and how long will they last?

Who can benefit from wearing orthotics and why?

What pains and ailments can be treated with orthotics?

What exactly is a 'custom orthotic' and who will need these?

Do orthotics fit in all my footwear?

Do ORTHAHEEL orthotics come in different shoe sizes?

Does it take long to get used to ORTHAHEEL Orthotics?

Can I put ORTHAHEEL Orthotics in the washing machine?

Do You Have Other Questions?



What exactly is an 'orthotic'?

An 'orthotic' is a device designed to restore your natural foot function. Many 'biomechanical' complaints such as heel pain, knee pain and low back pain are caused by poor foot function. (Biomechanics - the science of movement - studies the body's movements during walking, running and sports). Orthotics re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, thereby restoring natural foot function. In turn this helps alleviate problems in other parts of the body.

In addition, orthotics give a more even weight distribution, taking pressure of sore spots (e.g. the ball of the foot, corns in between toes, bunions etc) and they provide some shock absorption.

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What is the difference between a footbed and an orthotic?

Regular footbeds are designed to provide a cushioning effect and shock absorption. They may feel comfortable at first but they do not address the biomechanical cause - 'excess pronation' - of the pain or ailment. Orthotics provide some degree of shock absorption, but more importantly they are functional - i.e. designed to change and optimize your foot function. Some footbeds also feature an arch support, however, orthotics do a lot more than just supporting the arches.

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What are orthotics made of and how long will they last?

Traditional orthotics are made from rigid materials, such as hard plastic or even metal. Although providing correct alignment they are very hard to get used to and not natural in the sense that they limit the foot's natural suspension mechanism. Having something 'rock-hard' under the foot means that with every step the impact is not being absorbed properly and a shockwave travels from the foot all the way up to spine.

ORTHAHEEL Orthotics are made of a flexible 'space age' material called EVA . The major advantage of EVA is that it is supportive and 'giving' at the same time! As you apply weight to the foot there is a certain amount of 'give' in ORTHAHEEL, providing shock absorbtion to the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. This makes the device much more comfortable and more natural compared to hard orthotics.

The 'down-side' is that ORTHAHEEL Orthotics will need to be replaced every 12-16 months, whereas rigid (or semi-rigid) orthotics will last 2-4 years. The low cost of ORTHAHEEL ($19.99 - $26.99) however, means that yearly replacement is not a major obstacle. (Rigid orthotics can cost up to $400).

Young children and the elderly especially will benefit from a softer type of orthotic such as ORTHAHEEL as they cannot tolerate anything hard under the foot.

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Who can benefit from wearing orthotics and why?

Any person with a foot problem will benefit from wearing orthotics. It is estimated that over 50% of the population suffer from rolling inwards of the foot and fallen arches ('excess pronation'), which is the major contributing factor to foot problems. As we get older this problem often worsens. An estimated 75% of the over 50's suffer from excess pronation!

People most likely to suffer pronation-related conditions are:

- the over 50's: as we get older, the muscles and ligaments in the foot become weaker, as do the bones due to calcium reduction. In addition, the fatty padding under the foot thins out, which means less protection and cushioning for the the bones - in particular the heel bone. Fallen arches combined with thinning fat tissue are a recipe for foot problems.
Heel Spurs are the most common foot complaints with the over 50's. Over 2 million people in the USA suffer from heel pain!

- people who are on their feet all day: Factory workers, nurses, teachers, people in retail and in the building industry are required to stand on their feet for 8 hours or more per day! Hard unforgiving surfaces like concrete and asphalt take their toll after pro-longed standing - even in young and healthy people! Complaints most heard are tired, aching feet and legs
as well as low back pain.

Women who are required to wear dress shoes with heels (e.g. in retail or hospitality) often suffer from pain under the ball of foot
(Metatarsalgia) and/or aching legs.

- runners & athletes: because athletes put so much strain on their muscles and bones and ground reaction forces are much higher (up to 5 times the body weight) biomechanical injuries are more rule than exception. Orthotics play a major role in preventing sports injuries such as Achilles Tendonitis, shin splints 
and problems in and around the knee joint. Plus, running pain-free makes any athlete perform better!

- high-heel wearers: everybody knows high heels are not good for your feet, but most women will keep wearing them. Common symptoms occurring from wearing high heels are pain in the back of the legs
(and long term: shortening of the calf muscles!), ball of foot pain, pain under the arch and the heel.   Slimfits are specifically designed to reduce discomfort associated by high heeled shoes and sandals.

- young children: Sever's Disease, Osgood-Schlatters and Growing Pains
are the 3 most common biomechanical conditions in young children. Because young children's bones have not been fully developed (set or 'ossified') and kids are usually very active, this may disrupt the growth plates causing inflammation and pain. Orthotics help stabilize the excess movement in tendons and joints, thereby relieving many aches & pains.

- people with diabetes:

- arthritis sufferers:

- overweight/obese persons:

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What pains and ailments can be treated with orthotics?

Most foot conditions respond favorably to orthotic treatment. Orthotics are found to be very effective for foot complaints such as Bunions, Calluses & Corns, Heel Pain, Achilles Tendonitis, Morton's Neuroma and Ball Of Foot Pain
. Because the feet are the foundation of our body, orthotics can also provide natural, lasting relief for Back Pain, Knee Pain and Shin Pain.  

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What exactly is a 'custom orthotic' and who will need these?

Some people have more serious biomechanical disorders than the common degree of excess pronation that most of us suffer from. These people need to seek help from a health professional. For example, ulcers under the arch or a very large bunion requires the attention of a medical foot specialist. Also, some people have biomechanical dysfunction in the forefoot area which means they may need some type of forefoot valgus/varus wedging to compensate. In addition, there are people who instead of 'Pronation' suffer from the opposite: their feet roll outwards or 'supinate' and the arch remains high when hitting the ground (this is called a Cavus foot or High Arch and only affects 5% of the population). The result is very poor shock absorption and increased strain on the heel and rest of the body. Supinators will need a custom-made orthotic that corrects this type of malfunction.

After initial diagnosis the Podiatrist will decide on a 'customized prescription orthotic'. Generally, there are 2 types of custom-made orthotics:

1) Cast orthotics:

A plaster cast of the patient's foot is made (a negative impression) and this cast is then sent to an orthotic laboratory. A positive cast is formed by pouring plaster into the negative. The result is a reproduction of the underside of the foot. From this the technician will make a custom orthotic including the necessary adjustments, recommended by the health professional. In most cases, the materials used are rigid or semi-rigid resulting in a hard and uncomfortable device. Although biomechanically correct, most patients loathe wearing these hard orthotics as they dig into the arch and take a long time to get used to.


2) Heat-moldable orthotics:

Traditional 'casted' orthotics are becoming less and less popular with physicians because most patients won't wear them, they are expensive (up to $400 per pair!) and they take weeks to make. In the last 10 years alternatives have emerged of which the heat-moldable is by far the most widely used. A heat-moldable orthotic is a standard 'off-the-shelf' flexible device. Its shape can be altered to suit the patients needs by heating the orthotic for 20-30 seconds. The heating does not alter the flexibility (or 'give') making it very comfortable to wear. Australian Podiatrist Phillip Vasyli - the inventor of ORTHAHEEL - has also engineered a wide range of heat-moldable VASYLI Orthotics. Thousands of health professionals all over the world use VASYLI Orthotics because of their ease of prescription, their low cost, high acceptance and tolerance level with patients.

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Do orthotics fit in all my footwear?

No, they don't. In particular custom-made devices can be very large and bulky and patients are restricted to certain types of footwear; or worse, they have to buy larger shoes to accomodate the orthotic. ORTHAHEEL Orthotics, however, come in different models to suit different types of footwear and activities. The Regular model for example, features a lateral cutaway to make the device fit in almost every type of dress shoe, brogue, boat shoe etc. ORTHAHEEL Slimfit is designed to fit ladies' high heel shoes, narrow-fitting footwear, court shoes etc.
 Orthaheel Sports will fit in any type of sport shoe (sneakers, runners, tennis shoes etc) and fits best when the insole already present in the shoe is removed and replaced by ORTHAHEEL.

(Full-length models such as the Golf and Sports
can be trimmed with scissors to fit the shoe.)

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Do ORTHAHEEL orthotics come in different shoe sizes?

Yes, ORTHAHEEL is available in all mens & womens sizes including 'Kids'. Simply reference the size chart for the orthotic or sandal you are considering.  The size chart is located next to the "Buy Online" button on each product description page.

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Does it take long to get used to ORTHAHEEL Orthotics?

Not at all! Because ORTHAHEEL is made of 'feet-friendly' flexible EVA with plenty of 'give', it takes most people only a few hours to get used to them. Some people may need a few days and we recommend you take the orthotics out of your shoes for 1 or 2 hours and put them back in again, and so on - until they feel comfortable.

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Can I put ORTHAHEEL Orthotics in the washing machine?

No, the easiest way to clean ORTHAHEEL is to simply wipe them with a warm soapy cloth. Please, do not soak them.

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ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?

If you still have unresolved questons, please feel free to email
or call us at 1-800-872-3633.