Why Do I Need to Get My Orthotics Checked?
Have you been prescribed a pair of orthoses and are now pain free and doing all the things you love doing? Wondering why you need to keep coming back to your Podiatrist to have your orthotics checked? I’m here to tell you why!
Why Do I Need to Have My Orthotics Checked?
As Podiatrists, we use orthotics to help change the way that damaging forces from the ground interact with your feet and legs.
This allows the bony or soft tissue structures that were being overloaded to heal and repair, thus decreasing your pain.
Read more on how orthotics work here
Once you are no longer in pain, it can be pretty easy to get on with doing the things you love and you find that no longer think about your foot and leg health.
Overtime however, many things relating to your foot and leg health can change, including your activity and how much activity you’re doing, your footwear, the strength and structure of your feet and legs, and your orthotics.
At Complete Podiatry we use only the best materials to manufacture your orthotics from, however as with everything, they do wear with time.
This could mean that they no longer fit the shape of your feet correctly, they are not offloading the structures that are/were causing you pain, they are not an appropriate design for the activity you are doing, or the materials are simply worn or compressed.
This is why it’s important to have your orthotics checked periodically, to ensure that the orthotics are working best for you!
How Often Do I Need to Have My Orthotics Checked?
For adults who are experiencing no foot or leg pain and are able to keep doing all the things they love doing, having your orthotics checked every 6-12 months is recommended.
Children require more frequent review of their orthotics due to them still growing.
For children who are experiencing no foot or leg pain and are able to keep doing all the things they love doing, having their orthotics checked every 6 months is recommended.
However, if your child has grown and has gone up a shoe size, it is recommended that they be checked following this as the orthotics may need adjustments to fit their shoes more appropriately.
If your child has gone up two shoe sizes, then they definitely need their orthotics checked to ensure they are getting the therapeutic benefit from the orthoses, and at this stage they will more than likely need their orthotics replaced.
Now, these are general guidelines. Of course though, if you are experiencing any foot or leg pain, whether this is new pain or recurrence of previous symptoms, then definitely book in to see your podiatrist sooner rather than later.
What Do You Look At When You’re Checking My Orthotics?
There are many different things that we look at when we do a review of your orthoses.
This includes checking the shell of the orthotic and making sure it hasn’t compressed too much and is contouring well to your foot.
We check the top cover on the orthotic to make sure this is in good condition with no holes in the material and that it still has adequate cushioning.
We check that there are no uneven wear patterns on the orthotic, as this may indicate that other structures may become overloaded and sore.
And most importantly, we check whether the orthotic is providing you with the intended therapeutic effect. This includes ensuring that we are offloading the correct tissues, that you are able to perform functional tasks, and that the previously damaged tissues are continuing to strengthen to prevent recurrence of symptoms.
What If My Orthotics Need Modifications?
Once your Podiatrist has reviewed your orthotics, they may suggest making some modifcations to your devices to ensure they're working the best for you.
These modifcations can usually be done by your Podiatrist on the spot during your consult.
This might include adding different wedges and paddings to the orthotics, grinding parts off the orthotic, or changing the top covers on the orthotics.
If the changes cannot be made in your consult, your Podiatrist may ask you to leave your orthotics with them and they will make the changes and get you to come back in to collect them.
If the orthotics are too worn or are not appropriate for you any longer, your Podiatrist may recommend that your orthotics be replaced, but they discuss this with you.
We Are Here To Help
If you are experiencing any foot or leg pain, or haven’t had a review of your orthotics in a while, the first thing to do is book an appointment with one of the Podiatrists at Complete Podiatry.
Your Podiatrist will perform a comprehensive assessment and will develop a structured management plan that outlines our best advice for how to help you to return to or to continue doing the things you love to do without needing to worry about foot or leg pain.
Just call us on 8330 0004, I'd love to talk to you about how we can help you build an amazing life from the feet up!
Yours in helping to build amazing lives from the feet up.
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry