Orthotics - worth it?

Hard science or snake oil?

6 messages
25/04/2013 at 21:55

Hi all,

I've currently got runners knee or something similar. I saw a new physio today, the old one having left. The new one is a biomechanics specialist and she reckoned I had tibial equinus (or however it's spelt), plus slightly different length legs. She did a bit of work on the knee and advised me to see a podiatrist about getting orhotics which will apparently prevent recurrence once the swelling/irritation has gone.

None of the other physios I've seen picked up on any such problems (and they did look), so I'm wondering if today's is more observant or just keen to put everything down to mechanics.

What do you all think about orhotics? Have they helped you? Do I really need to wear them all the time? Are they complete BS? Any opinion welcome!

26/04/2013 at 00:48

from my own experience, a few years ago I was told I had leg length differences and needed a heel lift etc, followed the advice and it didn't ease the knee pain, it made things worse.  Went to a different physio who said the problem was in my pelvis alignment, he pushed it back into place and that made a big difference. (and once my hips were in the right position I didn't have a significant leg length difference) I use orthotics, but before getting them my physio made an arch lift to test if it would help my achillies pain, which it did. But neither the physio or the podiatrist said, 'get orthotics and all your injuries will be solved'. Working on strength, flexibilty and control are things I'll have to do for as long as I run. 

What works for one person might not work for someone else, plenty of people will tell you that running barefoot will solve your ills...

26/04/2013 at 08:23

If I hadn't had custom orthotics made I wouldn't be running now, simple as.

Velloo is right in saying that sometimes you have to do specific strengthening exercises as well though, depending on what the problem is.

26/04/2013 at 19:14

Thanks both. I know from previous visits that I need to stretch and strengthen too. I'll keep an open mind when I see the podiatrist.

26/04/2013 at 22:16

I just had orthotics made for me by a so called expert podiatrist at a teaching hospital - and they were the wrong way round!  ie the lift was in the wrong leg.  I don't know whether he got the original diagnosis wrong (I had never felt that I had one leg longer than the other or that it was causing a problem) or whether it was just written down wrong, but either way I spent a month walking round in them and surprise surprise, my back pain got much worse!  Finally saw an amazing osteopath this wk, who did more in 1 hr than 5 other professionals (2 physios, 1 chiropracter, another osteopath and the podiatrist) have done in a yr.  Yes I do have a leg length discrepency but it isn't necessarily causing a prob, and is most likely due to my misaligned pelvis since the birth of my second child last yr.  So beware!

11/05/2013 at 16:57

carovet , i wonder if you are near me in the north west ? 

Just wondering as ive been going to Salford Podiatry school for my orthotics but they have made no difference to my shin splints at all....spent fortunes in the past on podiatrists... so which Osteopath have you been too?



aww just noticed on your profile that your down south..pity

Edited: 11/05/2013 at 17:01

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