As of 2012, approximately 126.6 million Americans are currently living with musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders may be treated with surgery but in many cases are better cared for using orthotic services.
However, orthotics such as walking boots, a prafo boot, a pressure relief shoe, and a plantar fasciitis night splint can wear out over time. Like many devices, orthotics get worn out with wear and tear the longer you use them. And, by definition, these devices suffer a lot of wear and tear.
But how can you be sure whether or not your orthotics have started wearing out? Consider the following signs you may need to visit your orthotic services for improved support.
Signs your orthotics have seen better days
Custom orthotics, like custom prosthetics, are constructed from durable materials. This is because your orthotics, especially when used on the feet, will be handling a great amount of pressure to help your ligaments, tissue, or bones heal correctly.
To test whether or not your orthotics may be wearing out, begin by pressuring down on the arch of the orthotic device. If the material of the arch (typically cork, foam, or plastic) begins to collapse under the pressure it may be a sign you need to visit your orthotic services.
If your custom orthotics are inserts, stand on them without wearing your shoes. While keeping your heal on the ground, bend your knees and look down at your toes. Your orthotics are most likely working just fine if a line can be drawn from your kneecap straight down to the space between your big and index toes. If not, you may need a new pair.
Contributing factors of worn-out orthotics
Nearly 1.9 million Americans are currently living with limb loss. Musculoskeletal disorders can sometimes develop as a result of these amputations. Just like a prosthetist, it’s important to consult your orthotist if your orthosis is beginning to make you uncomfortable.
Orthotics may cause discomfort if they’re no longer able to support the limb they’re meant to. Common factors that may cause your orthosis to wear out include:
- How long you’ve had your orthosis. Certain orthotics are only worn for a given period of time. However, many can last up to five years. It may be worth considering new orthotics if it’s been over a few years.
- How often you use your orthosis. The more often orthotics are used, but more likely they are to break down due to wear and tear. Consider how often you use your orthosis. If you use it quite a lot, you may want to take it into your orthotist for an evaluation.
Orthotics are there to enhance mobility, improve your lifestyle, and help you live a pain-free life. However, orthotics don’t last forever. Like all medical devices, they wear and tear with age and use. If you suspect your custom orthotics have started wearing out, contact Walkabout Orthotics today for more information on a new orthosis.