Orthotics are an effective tool to treat foot pain. But like other medical devices, they wear out over time.
If you’ve ever suffered foot pain, you know what a relief custom orthotics or insoles can bring! Orthotics make walking and exercising without pain possible by treating numerous foot problems, from collapsed or high arches to plantar fasciitis, which is heel pain caused by inflammation in a band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes. If you stand all day, your orthotics absorb the pressure on your feet. People with arthritis in the feet also benefit from orthotics.
Yet, for all the good orthotics do, they don’t last forever. Knowing when to replace your orthotics can keep your feet pain-free and in great shape.
Four signs you need new orthotics
If you need orthotics, get custom-made appliances from a podiatrist. Orthotics in retail stores won’t fit your foot exactly and will wear out quickly.
Custom-fitted orthotics generally last anywhere from one to five years, depending on usage. If you use your orthotics for everyday wear, your device will probably need to be replaced sooner than five years. Orthotics worn occasionally or only in specific shoes will maintain their shape and structure longer. Either way, look for these four signs to know when to get a new pair of orthotics:
Pain. If your foot pain returns after wearing your orthotics for a while, you probably need to be fitted with new devices. Pain in your ankle, knees, or back also indicates new orthotics are needed.
Damage. Custom orthotics are made of strong, durable materials, but the material can wear down over time. Look for noticeable signs of damage, such as cracks, thinning, or broken pieces.
Calluses & corns. Corns and calluses also indicate the orthotic is worn to the point when it’s no longer effective. An ill-fitting orthotic leads to friction between your shoe and your foot, causing painful corns. A callus results from constant pressure on one spot on the foot due to the orthotic no longer cushioning it.
Worn-down shoes. If your orthotic is worn down, your shoes will be, too. When the orthotic can no longer keep your foot in proper alignment, you may notice your footwear is wearing down on one side.
To ensure your orthotics are always in good condition, visit your podiatrist once a year for refitting if necessary. Even if the orthotic is intact, your body or gait may have changed, necessitating a new pair. Weight gain or loss, surgery, pregnancy, or simply aging can all alter the shape of the foot.
Feet support your entire body and absorb a lot of pressure daily, so treat them well! An abnormality in your feet can lead to pain from your leg to your back. Correcting foot pain with an orthotic reduces the chance of pain elsewhere in your body. Just remember to be proactive and get new orthotics when they no longer feel (or look) comfortable.
We’re the foot specialists
At Alamitos-Seal Podiatry, we treat all foot problems, from broken bones and tendonitis to bunions. We also offer a complete line of custom orthotics to relieve your foot pain. Contact us today for a consultation.
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Fill out the form below to reach Alamitos – Seal Beach Podiatry Group, or call Los Alamitos: (562) 203-6151 or Seal Beach: (562) 242-1559 for immediate assistance.