Orthotics are medical devices that treat biomechanical foot disorders. You wear them inside the shoes to help with walking, standing, or running. Besides treating bursitis and flat feet, you can use them for various other ankle and foot conditions. The design of the orthotics is tailor-made to suit the unique anatomical needs of every foot.
However, over time, users will realize the decline in their functionality, begging the question, how often should custom orthotics be replaced? In this article, we’ll review signs that it’s time for you to replace your custom orthotics and the timetable for doing so.
Obvious Signs of Aging
A visual inspection of the orthotics should provide relevant insights on whether they need replacing. Check for broken pieces, cracks, and thinning soles. And while you may choose to wear the orthotics every time, this significantly affects how long they last—orthotics will serve you longer when used for specific activities or shoes. Remember, the continued use of orthotics with obvious defects will impact their effectiveness and discomfort.
Quality and Material
Custom orthotics made from high-quality, durable material will typically last longer, with users getting up to 5 years of wear. The material also determines how often the custom inserts need replacing. Those comprising hard plastic material can last anywhere from three to five years. If made of form or soft plastic, you might need to replace the orthotics annually.
Development of Calluses or Corns
Corns are a direct result of friction between the foot and footwear. On the other hand, calluses develop from repetitive pressure on one spot. If you want to confirm how often should custom orthotics be replaced, inspect your feet for corns and calluses. What’s more, monitor the condition of your food problem. Continued pain, even after wearing custom inserts, might be your cue to get the orthotics checked.
Active users need to replace the orthotics sooner. This is especially true for high-impact activities like running and other sports. There will be significant wear and tear compared to those leading sedentary lifestyles.
The unequal weight distribution from improper alignment also wears out the inserts faster. A simple way is to look at which part of the shoe bottom wears out faster. Over time, the orthotics will become less effective, causing discomfort. In such cases, experts may recommend new inserts or an adjustment to your existing ones.
Lack of Therapeutic Improvement
Orthotics are quite effective for a majority of foot conditions. The doctor carefully examines your foot before recommending the best orthotic shoe insert. In case of a noticeable lack of therapeutic improvement, know there’s a need to replace the orthotic.
How Often Should Custom Orthotics Be Replaced?
Still have questions about how often you should replace your custom orthotics? Find out and get your feet back in shape by calling Foot Specialists of Birmingham.