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Considering Orthodics

Has anyone ever tried using orthodics, either custom or mass produced.? If so, has it help balancing the load across your ankles, knees, hips and back? I am considering trying them as any little improvement reducing back impingement is appreciated.

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I had some orthotics made to correct some lateral flexion in my feet. This was a long time ago, before I started lifting. They literally fixed my mild-but-chronic back aches within a week.

Needless to say I was very satisfied. Are they covered by insurance in Wales? Luckily they were in Canada…the actual cost was something like 1300$!

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*disclaimer - I work in a biomechanics lab that sells orthotics.

Any time you use an external device like these to compensate for a musculoskeletal problem it’s a tricky thing. Should you use them all the time? Just when lifting? Can you “fix” the problem and just use the orthotics as a band-aid until then?

They’re the perfect choice when the problem is a structural abnormality; as an example, my right tibia is formed so that it externally rotates about 20 degrees more than my left (which is the normal one). For me, correcting the problems that can cause at the foot and ankle help considerably. They’re also great if one leg is longer than the other, for instance.

Beyond that, it gets a little muddier. Your best bet is to get evaluated by a physical therapist with a fair bit of experience with athletes or a specialist, such as a clinical biomechanist. Sometimes the answer is as simple as correcting a muscle imbalance and orthotics would be a waste and just mask the problem. Other times it’s not.

Good footwear always helps, though. For instance, doing strongman stuff in Chucks is a bad idea.

Side note, the total cost for a set was over $1000?!? That’s fucking ridiculous. We use a company called eSoles that charges less than half that for a product that’s better than most others. I don’t see any kickback from them, this is just from personal experience. I’ve dealt with about 4 different makers, and they’re by far the best service, product, and price. Don’t know if they’re up in Wales yet though.

Have a good one,

Dan

Just a little insight: I had chronic shinsplints through 2 years of track, mainly due to tight calves, overpronation and flat feet.

I had orthotics for a year or so specifically for my dead to the floor flat feet. I switched to Nike Free 5.0s for walking and running 4 months ago and lo and behold, my arch actually lifted and I lost a shoe size.

I still overpronate like a bitch, but I don’t get shin splints anymore and I’m working on the calves religiously with soft tissue work.

I use them . custom from a podiatrist .

began noticing results in a couple/few days . my issue is plantar fasciatis(sp?). 90% of discomfort was gone in a few weeks . still have slight discomfort most of the time though, but waaaayy better than without them .

The problem with orthotics is that many podiatrists believe they are the answer to all injuries and are prone to prescribe them to people who don’t need them. Several years ago I was severely injured by orthotics that were disruptive rather than corrective. Unless you have some glaring structural problem with your feet, I would avoid orthotics altogether. Be advised that many podiatrists see all injuries in terms of overpronation and will tell you that you need orthotics even if you have perfetly normal feet.

Just as a follow up, has anyone tried the products from the Good Foot store or Phase4 orthodics. I know that these are not as good as customs from a Podiatrist

[quote]ASNAC wrote:
Just as a follow up, has anyone tried the products from the Good Foot store or Phase4 orthodics. I know that these are not as good as customs from a Podiatrist[/quote]

Haven’t used them; if they fit what your foot should be doing, and there’s an actual dysfunction they’re correcting, then they’ll work :slight_smile:

LOL at Emmitt Smith being billed as a TV Dance Champion.

I got braces back in '05.

Oh, wait… I thought you meant orthodontics.

lol