FEELING GREAT: Orthotics may be the answer to your ills

Got a few funny little questions from readers following last weeks column on the “made for you” custom orthotics that are designed to slip in your shoes and eliminate pain and stiffness.

Here’s the answers:

Question: Paul, I’m 52, I’m a big fan of walking after work along the sea front, have been for years.

Nothing serious, just like to be as active as I can. I don’t wear any special shoes or anything when I do walk, but I’ve noticed my feet are a bit flat.

I get pain inside my knee and my shoes regularly wear thin on the inside.

It means I’m forever spending money on new shoes. Would my wearing orthotics help me?

Paul: Ah yes, a common problem and a frustration that I hear a lot in clinic. But it’s a natural consequence of your foundations not being strong enough.

Sounds to me as though your feet are rolling in, that’s causing your feet to be flatter than you would like or they once were, and this is having a knock-on effect now with pain on the inside of your knee.

Orthotics can correct this, ease pain and save you some money on not having to replace new shoes that wear down quickly.

Question: I’m a runner with the Harriers, 43, always ran on the road, I’d say for more than 25 years and never suffered with pain in my shins or knees – until now.

I’m suffering aches in both and can’t seem to shake either of them despite lots of rest, seeing my GP, and changing trainers.

And last time I did that, I went to a shop which did a bit of a check up on my feet before recommending a particular brand of running shoe that would fit my feet. Do I need orthotics?

Paul: One of the great big mistakes I see runners make is a failure to wear the right type footwear. And going into the shop and asking the well meaning assistant about which type of trainer will help your feet, won’t make much difference at all.

Not if you’re running in excess of 10 miles per week.

See, if you can pick up a pair of trainers off the shelf, then so can I.

And then that means that with both of us wearing the same trainer, one of us is wearing a pair that doesn’t fit.

The brands can only go so far in ensuring how well trainers fit “flat feet” or feet that “over pronate” (same thing…).

The real difference will be found with an insert inside of them made for you i.e. custom orthotics.

Question: I’m a golfer, 67, have played at Seaton for the last 35 or so years and am now seriously worried about my Achilles pain.

No pain at first when I start my round, but hurts like mad by the end and 18 holes is becoming almost impossible due to the pain.

I’ve also noticed my lower back is a lot stiffer now than it ever was too.

Are the two linked? And am I a candidate for custom orthotics?

Paul: Absolutely. Yes and yes. Achilles problems in golfers are one of the most common injuries I will see from such sports people. Male and female.

It’s because your foot is under s much stress each time you take a shot, the Achilles has to take all of the pressure of your body weight above.

That and the uneven, hilly surfaces of the golf course mean that feet and shoes that doesn’t fit properly, lead to muscles and tendons that wear out quickly. And your back pain, there’s every chance that’s caused by the same underlying

problem of not having the right stability in your shoes. Get looked at for orthotics asap.

Listen, I’d even go so far as to say that any golfer who isn’t wearing custom orthotics inside their shoes is not only sabotaging their physical health, but likely their swing also.

If your at all interested in the prospect of walking with less pounding through joints, running without pain or playing golf and being able to stay on the green longer than anyone else in your club, then look here: www.paulgoughphysio.com/custom-orthotics-inserts.

There’s a free information guide I’ve written waiting for you with even more info on the benefits of you wearing “made for you” (custom) orthotics.