Painful feet, sore heels, shin splints, and lower back pain – these may be symptoms of poor gait, foot function, or misalignment. Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, correct many podiatric and orthopedic issues. For best therapeutic value, orthotics should be in good condition.
So, when should you replace them? Let’s find out.
What Are The Different Kinds of Custom Orthotics?
Orthotics fall into two broad categories: functional and accommodative. Functional orthotics balance your gait when you run or walk, correcting improper motion and foot placement. Athletes and other active individuals benefit from these shoe inserts. Accommodative orthotics alleviate a wide range of foot discomforts–ulcers, calluses, bone spurs, and more. Diabetics benefit from custom orthotics. These orthotics serve a protective function, as well.
Additionally, orthopedic specialists and podiatrists categorize orthotics according to their component materials:
- Soft, which provides cushioning and shock absorption, particularly for diabetic, arthritic, or deformed feet.
- Semi-rigid, which combines hard and soft materials to help athletes place feet correctly on the pavement or playfield.
- Rigid, which are made from hard materials that absorb shock directly below the ankle bones and correct differences in limb length.
Your orthopedic specialist in Plantation, FL, can evaluate your symptoms (such as pain), your medical history, take X-rays, and assess how you walk (gait analysis). From there, they can determine if custom orthotics would help manage your problem better. If so, casting provides the information the orthotist needs to construct your inserts.
When Should I Replace My Custom Orthotics?
There are several factors to consider. As with any orthopedic device–custom or otherwise–wear and tear accumulates, changing the effectiveness and comfort level you experience when using it.
So, in general, experts recommend replacing custom shoe orthotics every three to five years. However, these circumstances can change this recommendation:
How a woman walks and places her feet on the ground changes in the postpartum period. So, you should stop in to seek your orthopedic specialist after you deliver to decide if you need new orthotics.
The more you are on your feet, or performing high-level athletics, the sooner you may need new orthotics. Runners, for instance, should change their inserts more often than someone who walks the dog for exercise.
Compressible, soft materials pack down and wear more quickly than carbon or plastic orthotics. When your soft orthotics begin to wear, their therapeutic effect diminishes, and you may notice a return of symptoms. So, a re-evaluation with your orthopedic doctor is in order.
Treatment of Acute And Chronic Musculoskeletal Problems in Plantation, FL
Are you wondering if you can get custom orthotics near you? Yes, you can! Orthotics are just one of the numerous ways Dr. Robert Baylis and Dr. Christopher Brown correct lower extremity issues. If you’d like to know more about custom orthotics, their use and their longevity, please contact Baylis & Brown Orthopedics at (954) 476-8800, or request an appointment online. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions.