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have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Posted by alan k on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013092)

I have ditched my orthotics after two months +.

I was at a conference on my feet a lot, for the first time since PF, and found the orthotics torture, while birks kept me on my feet longer (though still extremely painful). It was the first long test and the birks won.

Also, even though with 2 months on orthotics I got a tiny reduction of sole-pain, pain had been spreading up the insides of my heel, to the ankle, and along the side of my ankle.

I read I think from wendyn that she got tts after a year on orthotics, but she didn't say whether she thought it was the orthotics that did it.

I wonder what anyone thinks about orthotics and tts. It seems strange to me to have your heel elevated like that, although I realize many have been helped by it.

alan k


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

wendyn on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013093)

I really wonder about my orthotics, but my PT didn't think it could cause TTS. I changed to a different kind in July, and it helped a bit (they weren't as high or as rigid). But now that I've started wearing my Birks, I have completely lost my tolerance for my orthotics. I wear them 1 hour in the gym when doing weights, and they drive me nuts!!!

Are you still going for nerve conduction tests?


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

AndreaB on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013100)

I don't have TTS but I will tell you that after I ditched the orthotics after wearing them during the first 8 months of my agony, my pain diminished drastically. I posted about a month or so ago that I had discovered that walking barefoot or shoes with little or no arch support that I was able to stay on my feet longer. I have two pairs of shoes that seem to give me the least amount of pain--my hiking boots (bought them at REI they are Valquez brand or something close to that name) and a pair of black platform (cushion platform) slip ons that I bought at Target of all places. (I bought the 'cheap' Target shoes because I was sick of paying hundreds of dollars for shoes that were ugly and were supposed to make my feet better (which they didn't) I thought that if I paid $16.99 for a pair that looked good and they too killed my feet I would just toss them. My family/friends and I now call them my 'mircle' shoes because I have very little pain while wearing them.

After experiencing many ups and downs over the last 14 months I would say if you've tried orthotics and it make things worse and you don't see any improvement from them, they probably aren't helping.


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Gordon on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013105)

My first pair were terrible and so I went to a different doc and got a new cast done and it made all the difference in the world. I compared the shapes of the two orthodics and found that

a) one had a more pronounced arch and the leading edge tapered abruptly where the oher one had a finely tapered lading edge and the covering extends the full length of the foot so you don't feel the transition wher the orthodic tapers out.

b) A year later I had a third pair made from the second cast and found that they weren't as good and noticed that the heel did not have as much thickness underneath so I added some and it fixed it.

c) The first pair wre made of plain old fiberglass but th second pair are made of some high tech graphite or kevlar (I forget) and so they can be much thinner.

d) In my opinion the foot is inherently poor with circulation so I get a shoe that is much wider than needed and on the way to big side.
The shoe salesman tell me I'm crazy but it works. Shoes are part of the problem (or at least agrivate it) in my opinon. That is one o f the reasons that birk sandles work so well besides offering support they allow the blood to circulate. When you put constant presure on your foort with snug shoes you pinch off the blood flow and us PF people need all we can get.

My conclusion is that you need to experiment a bit with them shoes and orhodics and the docs haven't got the time to be bothered.



Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Beth D. on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013107)

Alan,

I was diagnosed last May with Tarsal Tunnel and PF by my first podiatrist. I got othotics from him and wore them until September. But in August a neurological exam ruled out tarsal tunnel-I don't believe I ever had it now. I started wearing Birks and have been able to do so pretty much exclusively for the last six weeks. My feet have never been better! Pain is down to about a 3. If I consistenly stretch 3-4 times a day, roll over the golf ball and take the Glucosamine/Chrondroitin 3x a day plus some extra C I have pretty good days. I broke my right ankle 18 years ago and believe the blood flow is reduced to that foot (my worse foot). Indoor biking helps keep the blood flowing. Also, my feet have gotten bigger and I was not buying bigger shoes...yes, I feel stupid about that now! Since buying the right size sneakers and wearing the birks the warmth, tingling, and numbness(what the Podiatrist said was from Tarsal Tunnel) have subsided in my feet. What a learning experience this has been. Listen to your body is what I have learned. For months after working out in too small sneakers my feet would hurt. Did I stop, no. Will I stop in the future, YES! Keep trying. I know the orthotics are supposed to be good for support, but I'm sure they don't work for me.

Beth


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Sue B on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013109)

I have 4 pair of custom orthotics. Only one pair helps me--the others make it worse. So I went back to the guy who made the pair I liked so that he could make me another pair. Well, the second pair he made for me don't feel as comfortable as the first pair he made.

So----I think that if you are lucky and get just the right custom or over the counter orthotics for your foot that they can help, but they can also make your feet feel worse.


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

john h on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013112)

i did recently read in a reputable health publication that orthotics could make you worse and should not be the 1st thing the doctor prescribes. it seems to me that poditrist (i went to 3) immediately want to put you in orthotics and give you a shot of cortisone.

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

john h on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013115)

back for my 3 month visit ot dr after surgery. he said i ought to give the magnetic inserts a go for a few months. coming from an othopedic surgeon with a fellowship i was supprised. he said he had read of some double blind studies where there was some help with magnets.

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

john h on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013116)

looking back 6 or so years ago when i first had the initial twinges of PF while running up hill i went to a poditrist. he immediately put me in custom hard molded orthotics ($300) and i proceeded to get worse form there. i do not know if that had anything to do with my developing pf but?

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Judy T. on 11/25/99 at 00:00 (013131)

I have been in orthotics since the beginning of Aug. My doctor told me to go easy on wearing them. Start out 1 hr. a day and increase a hr. each day after that. At first they were extremely uncomfortable. My feet felt like they were walking on a mound of hard cement. It took a good month before they honestly felt like they had become part of my foot. Now I wouldn't dream of not wearing them in my sneakers or Rockport shoes. My feel are actually uncomfortable if I DON'T wear them. I also switch off between these and my Birks which especially feel good when I get home from work to let my feet breathe. These are the ONLY 3 things I will wear.(N.B. Sneakers with Ortho's, Birks, Rockports (with my Ortho). Give your othotics alittle more time to break in and do tell your doc that they are uncomfortable...maybe they need a adjustment. Good Luck.

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Rod M on 11/25/99 at 00:00 (013136)

Well I am fan of my orthotics due to them making my life a lot more comfortable. They are three quarter length, semi rigid and made of a rubber compound. The left one has a soft insert in the area where the PF is the worst. Initally my feet cramped up but now I dont even know they are there.

I have recently brought some Birks and am giving them a try. I were these without inserts and must say these are not too bad at all.


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

wendyn on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013093)

I really wonder about my orthotics, but my PT didn't think it could cause TTS. I changed to a different kind in July, and it helped a bit (they weren't as high or as rigid). But now that I've started wearing my Birks, I have completely lost my tolerance for my orthotics. I wear them 1 hour in the gym when doing weights, and they drive me nuts!!!

Are you still going for nerve conduction tests?


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

AndreaB on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013100)

I don't have TTS but I will tell you that after I ditched the orthotics after wearing them during the first 8 months of my agony, my pain diminished drastically. I posted about a month or so ago that I had discovered that walking barefoot or shoes with little or no arch support that I was able to stay on my feet longer. I have two pairs of shoes that seem to give me the least amount of pain--my hiking boots (bought them at REI they are Valquez brand or something close to that name) and a pair of black platform (cushion platform) slip ons that I bought at Target of all places. (I bought the 'cheap' Target shoes because I was sick of paying hundreds of dollars for shoes that were ugly and were supposed to make my feet better (which they didn't) I thought that if I paid $16.99 for a pair that looked good and they too killed my feet I would just toss them. My family/friends and I now call them my 'mircle' shoes because I have very little pain while wearing them.

After experiencing many ups and downs over the last 14 months I would say if you've tried orthotics and it make things worse and you don't see any improvement from them, they probably aren't helping.


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Gordon on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013105)

My first pair were terrible and so I went to a different doc and got a new cast done and it made all the difference in the world. I compared the shapes of the two orthodics and found that

a) one had a more pronounced arch and the leading edge tapered abruptly where the oher one had a finely tapered lading edge and the covering extends the full length of the foot so you don't feel the transition wher the orthodic tapers out.

b) A year later I had a third pair made from the second cast and found that they weren't as good and noticed that the heel did not have as much thickness underneath so I added some and it fixed it.

c) The first pair wre made of plain old fiberglass but th second pair are made of some high tech graphite or kevlar (I forget) and so they can be much thinner.

d) In my opinion the foot is inherently poor with circulation so I get a shoe that is much wider than needed and on the way to big side.
The shoe salesman tell me I'm crazy but it works. Shoes are part of the problem (or at least agrivate it) in my opinon. That is one o f the reasons that birk sandles work so well besides offering support they allow the blood to circulate. When you put constant presure on your foort with snug shoes you pinch off the blood flow and us PF people need all we can get.

My conclusion is that you need to experiment a bit with them shoes and orhodics and the docs haven't got the time to be bothered.



Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Beth D. on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013107)

Alan,

I was diagnosed last May with Tarsal Tunnel and PF by my first podiatrist. I got othotics from him and wore them until September. But in August a neurological exam ruled out tarsal tunnel-I don't believe I ever had it now. I started wearing Birks and have been able to do so pretty much exclusively for the last six weeks. My feet have never been better! Pain is down to about a 3. If I consistenly stretch 3-4 times a day, roll over the golf ball and take the Glucosamine/Chrondroitin 3x a day plus some extra C I have pretty good days. I broke my right ankle 18 years ago and believe the blood flow is reduced to that foot (my worse foot). Indoor biking helps keep the blood flowing. Also, my feet have gotten bigger and I was not buying bigger shoes...yes, I feel stupid about that now! Since buying the right size sneakers and wearing the birks the warmth, tingling, and numbness(what the Podiatrist said was from Tarsal Tunnel) have subsided in my feet. What a learning experience this has been. Listen to your body is what I have learned. For months after working out in too small sneakers my feet would hurt. Did I stop, no. Will I stop in the future, YES! Keep trying. I know the orthotics are supposed to be good for support, but I'm sure they don't work for me.

Beth


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Sue B on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013109)

I have 4 pair of custom orthotics. Only one pair helps me--the others make it worse. So I went back to the guy who made the pair I liked so that he could make me another pair. Well, the second pair he made for me don't feel as comfortable as the first pair he made.

So----I think that if you are lucky and get just the right custom or over the counter orthotics for your foot that they can help, but they can also make your feet feel worse.


Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

john h on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013112)

i did recently read in a reputable health publication that orthotics could make you worse and should not be the 1st thing the doctor prescribes. it seems to me that poditrist (i went to 3) immediately want to put you in orthotics and give you a shot of cortisone.

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

john h on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013115)

back for my 3 month visit ot dr after surgery. he said i ought to give the magnetic inserts a go for a few months. coming from an othopedic surgeon with a fellowship i was supprised. he said he had read of some double blind studies where there was some help with magnets.

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

john h on 11/24/99 at 00:00 (013116)

looking back 6 or so years ago when i first had the initial twinges of PF while running up hill i went to a poditrist. he immediately put me in custom hard molded orthotics ($300) and i proceeded to get worse form there. i do not know if that had anything to do with my developing pf but?

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Judy T. on 11/25/99 at 00:00 (013131)

I have been in orthotics since the beginning of Aug. My doctor told me to go easy on wearing them. Start out 1 hr. a day and increase a hr. each day after that. At first they were extremely uncomfortable. My feet felt like they were walking on a mound of hard cement. It took a good month before they honestly felt like they had become part of my foot. Now I wouldn't dream of not wearing them in my sneakers or Rockport shoes. My feel are actually uncomfortable if I DON'T wear them. I also switch off between these and my Birks which especially feel good when I get home from work to let my feet breathe. These are the ONLY 3 things I will wear.(N.B. Sneakers with Ortho's, Birks, Rockports (with my Ortho). Give your othotics alittle more time to break in and do tell your doc that they are uncomfortable...maybe they need a adjustment. Good Luck.

Re: have orthotics made you worse-- can they give you tarsal tunnel syndrome?

Rod M on 11/25/99 at 00:00 (013136)

Well I am fan of my orthotics due to them making my life a lot more comfortable. They are three quarter length, semi rigid and made of a rubber compound. The left one has a soft insert in the area where the PF is the worst. Initally my feet cramped up but now I dont even know they are there.

I have recently brought some Birks and am giving them a try. I were these without inserts and must say these are not too bad at all.