Orthotics refer to custom-made inserts that fit into shoes that will ensure comfort and therapeutic relief in the feet. These devices suit the unique size and shape of your feet to feel secure while treating structural concerns in the feet. Whether you need correction for foot deformities or a risk avoidant for injuries, these tools can help you.
But orthotics will not last forever. Though durable, you will eventually need to replace these inserts. You can better protect your feet when you know when it is time to get new devices. Read on to learn more about the longevity of custom orthotics equipment from your podiatrist.
Signs You Need New Orthotics
One of the clearest signs that you need to get new orthotics from your podiatrist is damage to the inserts. Custom orthotics will wear down due to use over time. If they become broken, cracked, or worn thin, they can no longer do their job properly. It is time for new inserts.
You can also tell that you need orthotics if you notice pain in your feet, ankles, or back. You wear orthotics to reduce this pain and pressure, so if the pain returns or worsens, then the orthotics are no longer effective. Talk to your podiatrist if you start to form calluses or blisters from ill-fitting orthotics too.
The longevity of orthotics may vary for each individual depending on their lifestyle. If you jog or exercise while wearing orthotics, for instance, then they may wear down more quickly than those with a more sedentary lifestyle. Changes in your life, such as knee surgery, may alter your gait, which may mean you need new orthotics to accommodate these changes.
For another way to tell if you need orthotics replacements, look at your shoes. If the bottom of your shoes shows uneven wear, then your orthotics might not be correcting your gait the way they need to be. Ignoring ill-fitting orthotics could put your feet, ankles, and back in danger of further harm, so make sure you follow up with your podiatrist.
How Long Do Custom Orthotics Last?
On average, custom orthotics will last for one to five years. But as mentioned, this number can vary depending on the patient’s usual activities. Keep an eye on your orthotics for signs you might need to replace the orthotics.
Your podiatrist will likely want you to schedule follow-up appointments to ensure your orthotics work properly. Attend these visits and make sure you contact your podiatrist if you have any concerns between your appointments. They can let you know for sure if it is time for replacements for your orthotics.
Follow care and maintenance instructions from your podiatrist to keep the orthotics clean and functional. Wash them gently with soap and warm water at least once a week and then air dry them. This can prevent bacterial build-up and keep the inserts in good shape.