A question I get asked a lot is ‘do my orthotics need updating?’ The answer is different for everybody, and is dependant on how often you have used your orthotics, any changes in your weight, any changes in arthritis or bone structure, the activities you are doing, if you have any new injuries and more…..

 

Orthotics material – Different orthotics are made from different material. Orthotics made from softer material such as EVA will break down and loose its support over the period of about 12 months. The softer the orthotic, the faster it will loose its support. Materials such as polypropylene or carbon fibre wont loose their support over time.

Weight – when orthotics are made they need to be strong enough to support your arch. The more you weight the more force that will be placed through your arch. If you therefore loose weight the orthotics may be too supportive, if you put weight on your orthotics may not be supportive enough.

Muscle strength – your foots ability to stabilise itself not only comes from the foot, but from the entire lower limb and the hips. The more strength that your lower limbs and hips have may mean that your orthotics need less support and visa versa. For this reason its recommended that you get your orthotics review every 12 months.

Circulation – In more elderly people who have a decrease in circulation, you may need certain areas of your foot offloading to prevent corns, callous and ulceration. For this reason its recommended that you get your orthotics review every 12 months.

Arthritis – Arthritis can manifest at different rates for different people. Changes in bone structure and increase in pain can occur. Therefore an update in the shape of your feet and possibly a change in support of the orthotics may occur. For this reason its recommended that you get your orthotics review every 12 months

Arch height – A persons arch height will change over time as their muscles change and bone structure changes. It is always better to keep up with the small changes than undergo one big change in orthotics prescription. For this reason its recommended that you get your orthotics review every 12 months.

Injuries – With different injuries a persons mechanics may change, different areas needing offloading and manipulating.  For this reason its recommended that you get your orthotics reviewed if you have a new injury.

 

Conclusion – Overall its recommended that you get your orthotics review every 12 months. With so many variables it is difficult to say whether a persons orthotics will need updating. It is defiantly worth getting them all checked over to make sure you stay comfortable, pain and injury free.

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