I have had some clients present to me recently at our Frankston clinic with orthotics that have truly seen out years past the use d by date. Some as old as old as 30 years, made out of cork…well beyond my time as a Podiatrist! So once you’ve been kitted up with your foot orthotics, how do you know when it is appropriate to see your Frankston Podiatrist and have them checked? And how are you supposed to know when you really need to replace them with new ones?
Most private health insurance companies will provide some cover of custom foot orthotics under the appropriate insurance plan once every twelve months. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new pair every twelve months because your current pair won’t last the distance but it does serve as a very good incentive if you are sick to death of moving them from one shoe to another.
Orthotics can be made out various materials, some softer, some very firm. The material is often reflective on what is trying to be achieved and is most suitable to the client’s lifestyle. Unfortunately the softer the device, depending on the client and their activities, the life of the orthotics will be shorter due to material deformation being easier. Over the counter orthotics or orthotics which are not custom made also have a shorter lifespan. Reasons for this is the ease of deformation and as they are made for the average foot instead of the individual foot. Every foot absorbs ground forces however some in different ways than others so something that is for the average foot may not suit the not so average gait pattern.
Let’s take away some confusion. Reading through the following checklist, if any of these situations apply to you, it’s time to see a Podiatrist:
- You have lost one of them.
- You have lost both of them.
- Your dog has chewed them up (yes this is a real problem).
- You are experiencing a new pain or ache in your feet when wearing your current orthotics.
- You feel unstable when wearing your orthotics.
- You have had lower limb surgery (e.g. hip, knee, foot or ankle) since being issued your orthotics.
- Your orthotics date back pre-pregnancy or pre-menopause. Hormones change us ladies, best to get those feet checked!
- They are more than five years old…let’s face it, your foot has probably changed in that time.
- Your child whom is wearing orthotics has gone up a shoe size. This may not definitely mean new orthotics but obviously the foot has changed shape and having a Podiatrist reassess and replace as necessary is a sure way to keep you child playing happily.
- The cover material is showing signs of wear. This wears out quicker than the shell usually. You may need it replaced every 12 months or even sooner depending on your lifestyle.
As a general rule, growing children should have their orthotics checked every six months and adults at least once every twelve months. This allows Podiatrists to monitor and reassess how your gait patterns are changing and maintain optimal support for your feet and legs.
You do not need a referral for orthotics or to have your current orthotics re-assessed at LifeCare Frankston. You just need to make an appointment.