Monday, January 18, 2010


As expected, the podiatrist I saw today recommended custom orthotics. I have heard great things about him and his orthotics, as he goes to great lengths to create a well fitting, functional orthotic (thanks, Kathleen!). The way it was described to me is that the orthotic would engage my foot in a way that would lessen the use (and thus impact) to the tendons / muscles that are currently inappropriately overworking and it will further engage the muscles that are currently inappropriately not fully engaged.

I am waiting to hear how much my insurance will cover and in the mean time, how my runs feel this week without orthotics. I am somewhat torn on how to proceed – my feet are a mess and always have been thanks to bunions, so I think the orthotic could be helpful, but there also seems to be a lot of science saying that less is more. I am leaning towards giving them a shot to see if they help. You have to cross one bridge at a time, right? If you wear orthotics, I am definitely interested in hearing about your experiences.

Thank you all for your recommendations last week. I am definitely going to keep asking questions. I did have the PT check my SI joint (again) and he said that I was generally in-line. He also had me do several exercises to see if they caused pain that would be typical of the SI joint and I did not experience any pain, so for now I am still focused on piriformis syndrome. I was happy to hear (and to read) that spending time in flip flops and barefoot is good for strengthening your foot because I live in flip flops 9 months of the year here (except at work, unfortunately) and I am always barefoot at home.

Here is the weekly wrap up – I am really looking forward to running again this week (and listening to Born to Run!)!

Mileage for Week Ending 1/17/2010
Swim: 2000 yards in 1:00
Bike: 50 miles in 3:10
Run: 17 miles in 2:41
Total: 6:51

Stretching / Foam Roller / Push Ups / Core: 1:50


KCWoodhead said...

On the "less is more" front, Jon and Dr. Schneider both helped explain that thought, and their explanation satisfied my questions...

You have 2 working parts when you are running, walking, standing - your shoe and your foot. The orthotic is simply an extension of your foot, and is helping to correct the biomechanical irregularities you have. Next step, the shoes. You can go minimal in that, and your foot/orthotic can still adapt and learn to stabilize, etc, but without the orthotic, your body may be too "irregular" to necessarily be corrected on its own, if that makes any sense.


I have heel spurs and looked at orthotics once upon a time. Guess what, insurance covered zip, nada, zilch (maybe Obama care will do better....LOL). My solution was 20 less pounds. Spur pain... gone. Amazing.

(Disclaimer: Since you don't have 20 pounds to give, I don't think this will work for you, but I thought I would bore you with it anyway)

Mike Russell said...

You know, lots of people swear by running barefoot to help improve the muscular strength in their feet and supporting muscles in their legs. I haven't tried it yet as I am waiting for spring. I may or may not help you and could actually make things worse... :)

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I wear custom orthotics. Made a world of difference in my run. Make sure you follow the break in process to a "t", or else it will cause pain. Takes about 10-14 days to properly break them in. THe best thing is you can transfer them from shoe to shoe and should last at least 3x the life of your running shoes.

Kristin said...

Since the torn PF and identifying a host of biomechanical issues, I've been running with custom orthotics and they are good. I agree though that less is more so I downgraded from stability to a light neutral shoe (Brooks Ghost) and replaced the insole with my orthotic so they feel pretty minimal. My insurance initially didn't cover them at all so I'm in appeal, but in my mind they were worth it to continue my recovery and hopefully prevent future injury. I hope to phase out of them completely eventually, but one step at a time. One more thing, mine are graphite and very light and thin. Make sure they are going to be suitable for running as I've heard a lot of complaints about bulky or stiff orthotics.

Bachelor Reform said...

I'm curious how the orthoses are working out so far?

Foot Solution said...

Hope his provided orthotics results are as good as heard about him..

Orthotics In Shoes