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Anyone Use Orthotics?

Hi friends,

Well Im about to visit a podiatrist to see if there is anything he/she can do to help me with my left foot plantar fascia tendonits and achilles tendonitis, and general poor ankle mobility.

I assume they will examine my walk etc, and they may suggest orthotics.

Who here wears orthotics? Was it worth the expense? Or is it just a scam?

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[quote]theBird wrote:
Hi friends,

Well Im about to visit a podiatrist to see if there is anything he/she can do to help me with my left foot plantar fascia tendonits and achilles tendonitis, and general poor ankle mobility.

I assume they will examine my walk etc, and they may suggest orthotics.

Who here wears orthotics? Was it worth the expense? Or is it just a scam?

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Hi Birdy,

I wear orthotics because my feet have shocking amounts of pronation. Over time this led to extreme knee pain. I got to 30 and couldn’t run more than a few metres. A properly fitted pair of custom orthotics later and I could run again. Squat and Deadlift technique improced tremendously as well.

In short, it was the best $200 I ever spent!

The key though is on the properly fitted part. If they are right then you won’t know you’ve got them on. If they are lumpy or just feel wrong don’t persevere with them for more than a day…take them back and get them retuned.

You may also have to finance getting new ones as the old compress. I get a lot of wear out of mine and haven’t felt like I needed a replacement or any adjustment for years now.

One other issue though is shoe selection. You’ll need shoes with a rotational stiffness about them. Also the sole has to be firm so that the orthotic doesn’t roll beneath you. So they are great in hardsoled weight lifting shoes, but sneakers are another matter.

Also you may find you just can’t physically put them into a foraml shoe ie Office wear. Thats more of a problem for the ladies though.

I wear $40 pair of orthotics. Powerstep brand, its what the podiatrist recommended. I have right ankle pain that would randomly happen, like I would just be walking and it would be a sharp pain. Orthotics in my shoes, pain is gone. Been 3 years, well worth the money. It is not custom fitted, and while im sure custom fitted is better, I do not even notice I am wearing mine after the first day or two.

My son runs Cross country and Track. He got sidelined last year with a balled up hip flexor so we went for the whole running evaluation at our local running shoe store, Roadrunner. They charged us about 70 bucks for a custom insole and it seems to have taken care of the problem.

Bird,

Try rolling a tennis ball, or a small ball, on the bottom of your foot. I got this tip from CBear, and it has helped.

Just roll the ball under your foot in circles, back and forth, see if that helps. It’s kind of like foam rolling for your foot.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
Bird,

Try rolling a tennis ball, or a small ball, on the bottom of your foot. I got this tip from CBear, and it has helped.

Just roll the ball under your foot in circles, back and forth, see if that helps. It’s kind of like foam rolling for your foot. [/quote]

Yer buddy, Ive been doing this for about a year atleast. I use a golf ball and small diameter PVC pipe. I find the PVC pipe is better. I can hear a crunching sound as I do this. Does definatley help.

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I have two custom sets. One for everyday nonsense and a different pair for lifting/sports related activities. I was skeptical at first, but they are worth every penny. I went from petty much constant foot pain to none almost immediately. I don’t really wear the everyday ones anymore. The sports specific ones that I wear while lifting seem to be sufficient.

[quote]Pemdas wrote:
I have two custom sets. One for everyday nonsense and a different pair for lifting/sports related activities. I was skeptical at first, but they are worth every penny. I went from petty much constant foot pain to none almost immediately. I don’t really wear the everyday ones anymore. The sports specific ones that I wear while lifting seem to be sufficient. [/quote]

Why did you get 2 pairs? What are the differences between the 2? What foot pain were you having?

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[quote]theBird wrote:

[quote]Pemdas wrote:
I have two custom sets. One for everyday nonsense and a different pair for lifting/sports related activities. I was skeptical at first, but they are worth every penny. I went from petty much constant foot pain to none almost immediately. I don’t really wear the everyday ones anymore. The sports specific ones that I wear while lifting seem to be sufficient. [/quote]

Why did you get 2 pairs? What are the differences between the 2? What foot pain were you having?

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I have fairly high arc for my foot size. Sometime the arc start to collapse a little near the ball of my foot and it swells up. It can be fairly excruciating at times. Standard shoes really just don’t have enough arc support for my foot shape.

I am not 100% sure where I got them. My dad is a chiropractor, so suggested and order them. I did have to step into some foam mold thing at one point so that he could send the company a mold of my foot. The were pretty pricey. I think they were about $200 a set. The everyday ones have a less arc support and the are designed to fit in loafers instead of sneakers because that is what I wear to work or really every place except the gym. They are also a little softer. The other pair is much stiffer with more arc support and they’re made for a sneaker.

Interesting.

I used to wear them like 10-15 years ago as a teenager, probally because of growing pains. At that time they were bulky and not every shoe could fit them.
Im assuming now they are made to be more streamlined and easier to fit into more types of shoes??

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Orthotics, somehting I have been making for the last 15 years at various stores.

MOST IMPORTANT is this: A properly made orthotic MUST be made in a non-weight being fashion.
The reason for this is when you weight a foot or your hand it will elongate (become longer).
think of the shape of your hand in its natural position and then “mush” it down on the table.
You need to have the orthotic made in its natural un weighted powerful position.

Also for clearity, there is a BIG difference between ones arch and their INSTEP. A person can have a
large foot with a small arch while some people have a thin boney foot that you could drive a semi truck under.

The arch is that part of your foot that, when put up against a wall barefoot is the space between the bottom of your foot and the wall. Your instep is part of the amount of VOLUME around the circumference of the foot.

One last point. The Arch of the foot is typically one finger width forward of the medial malleolous, not the high point in the middle of the foot.

As far as fit: Depending on how much you elongate it can take days to get used to a proper orthotic. I myself when I started to use them elongated 2.25 sized. The pain was bad but doable and I got used to them within a month. I now elongate an average length of 1 size, have much less lower back, hip, knee and ankle pain.

Hope this helps. Just because you spend a shitload on an orthotic does not mean it is better if it is not made properly. My personal off the shelf orthotic is the SuperFoot brand. Also, if you have custom orthotics made it is still important to get reevaluated about every 5-7 years as your body mechanics change.

Hope this helps…killerDIRK

Thanks Mr killerDirk.

Sounds like you know alot about foot mechanics. Do you think a podiatrist would be able to help me with my left ankle. It has reduced mobility due to a number of sprained ankles and ankle surgery to remove anterior spurs and a floating bone. I often get plantar faciaitis, and a sore heal, and achilles tendonitis.

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Hey Bird.
The first question on the ankle is do you have any type of “hardware” that is still holding your bones together. I ask since you mentioned surgery. Typically there will be a lack of mobility if one still has rods, plates and/or screws still left within.

Two: be very careful with the achilles, remember that the first person that ever had problems with his (Achilles) died due to it being a weak part, haha. Seriously though, light massage work on the achilles
from the gastroc down towards the calcaneous will help if done consistently. A warming linament such as
po-sum-on (google it) or others will help with the achilles pliability. Remember also that tendons and ligaments heal much more slowly than your musculature due to the limited amount of blood and nutrient flow.

A properly made orthotic WILL help with plantar faciaitis BUT! if your pf is bad enough than you will have to very slowly work your self up to wearing them consistenly. What I generally advise is this. Wear your shoes with the orthotics for an hour or so a day but bring the stock shoe footbed with you so you can switch back.
Then as your foot and body adjust to the ortho over a period of days or weeks wear then longer until you are in then all day. This way it is neither a shock to your plantar fascia nor your body.

Also make sure to not wear your shoes down past their life span since this will negate the benefits of said
orthotic . Also, have your orthotic checked about every 1-3 years and definately have them REMADE once every 5-7 years as your foot and body change. Even a MAJOR bodyweight change can change how much ones foot elongates.

Hope that this helps you and others with possible foot, ankle and leg to hip issues.
Remember you always want to build on a solid foundation and that starts at the FEET.
sincerly , killerDIRK.