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Richardson Podiatry Center

Knowing When to Replace Orthotics

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custom orthoticsWhen your pipes leak, you have to get them fixed. When you have leaves and brush in your yard, you rake them up. Richardson, TX, makes it easy to get rid of this compostable material with their Make Mulch, Not Trash program. However, there are more elusive things you need to change that don’t give you tell-tale indicators for action. For instance, how do you know when to replace orthotics?

The answer is every five years—and that’s with proper care. For more flexible soles, make sure you don’t use any harsh detergents or heat that would deform the shape of the support. Ideally, your orthotics should be brought into the office every six months so we can make sure they’re still helping you.

The more rigid, plastic type of orthotic lasts longer than the softer type. However, the plastic sole creates problems for runners because it could bruise your heel. So, although it lasts longer, it has fewer uses.

Here’s an at-home test to tell whether your orthotics are wearing out or not. Take the supports out of your shoes and stand shoulder width apart on the ground with the orthotics underneath your feet. With both heels on the ground, bend your knees one at a time. Imagine a vertical string dropping from your kneecap. If that imaginary string lands between the first and second toe, your orthotics are good. If it lands somewhere else, bring them into Dr. Gene Reister for an evaluation.

Orthotics shouldn’t be used to prevent a condition, you to treat one. You should only wear a custom support if a podiatrist assigned you a pair to correct an abnormal foot strike, lessen impact on an injury, or relieve pain from conditions like bunions, neuromas, or plantar fasciitis.

Knowing when to replace orthotics is tricky. If you feel like you don’t need to wear them anymore, want to come in for a check-up, or you need a new pair, contact Richardson Podiatry Associates at (972) 690-5374. 

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