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Orthotics

Posted by Carrie on 9/17/02 at 17:54 (095564)

Okk everyone I finally got my orthotics and so far I am pretty dissappointed, while I realize that it will take some time to get used to them I really had no idea they would hurt this much. I have pretty hard ones, which I was told I really need to support my totally flat feet, but I don't know, these hurt pretty bad. Can anyone tell me that they have had good experience with firm orthotics and about how long it took to get used to them? At this point I cannot wear them( i am told) except for an hour and then add a little bit more time everyday, I am not too thrilled with them, but still have a little hope that with time it will get better. If it doesn't I don't know what else to do. I thought things were improving but I am back where I was, and the stranges thing is that I didn't really do anything extra at all, just my usual stuff. in fact if anything I rested more than usual!

Frustrated but trying to be cool about it

Carrie

Re: Orthotics

nancy s. on 9/17/02 at 20:30 (095579)

carrie, what kind of 'hard' orthotics do you have? are they made of hard plastic (known as 'ice scrapers' by many here, including me), or are they of an EVA material that's just very firm but not completely unforgiving?

i have flat feet too. having first developed pf in 1999, i'm not 100% but am far better than i thought for a long time i ever would be.

the hard plastic 3/4-length orthotics killed my feet and set me way back. i later had much better ones -- firm but not rock-hard -- made by a professional orthotist. these were quality orthotics, although in the end i wasn't able to wear them either. but that is probably just me -- i do think they're well made, and were casted correctly, and my feet are just quirky. i wear birks 99% of the time, and they're what's best for me. they were one of the top three (maybe top two!) things that gave me my life back.

but please describe your orthotics in more detail so that you can get more specifically relevant responses. thanks.

nancy

Re: Orthotics

Carrie on 9/17/02 at 22:09 (095587)

Hi Nancy and thanks allot for answering my post. First of all the orthotics, actually after walking in them for a little bit tonight seemed really good. They are hard, def more hard then just firm, but I think they actually are allot like my birks. I don't know that a softer one would be enough support, but anyhow, they are 3/4 legnth I would also guess. They seem to be casted well enough, only time will tell I guess, like I said my feet are also very tricky, one day I think I am getting better, the next not. It goes back and forth with me, but I always have the pain and tender spots, esp on the back of my right heel. I know for sure that it is related to my achilles tendon too, not just the PF which is making it even more tricky. Shoes are a major problem here in Idaho for me, winter here is not only cold it is downright frigid, like snow and cold all the time, so I don't think I can survive it with the shoes I am wearing now, meaning birks and merrells ( sandals at that) anyhow I am just so tired of this whole thing as you can imagine and at times I get really frustrated. Like these orhtotics, most people don't seem to like the hard ones but my pod insisisted that I should give them a chance, what can I do right? I mean he is about the best pod in this town. I have to try it I guess. I did find them to be painful at first, then I wore them around a bit tonight and found that they really took the pressure off my heels and sore spots and raised my arches up nicely and made them feel so much better, only after a bit like usualy everything started to hurt again.

Anyhow thanks and I will keep ya all posted on how they work out.

I am curious on how a soft orthotic can work well, I hear people talking about them, and wonder how anything soft can support. The way my pod explained soft orthotics to me is that they basically don't support if they get to soft. My biggest problem is that my arch is not supported enough. I am so flexible that it baffles people how I can have this problem with my achilles and still be so flexible. I have no answer to this either.

anyhow thanks allot
hugs
:)
Carrie

Re: Orthotics

Julie on 9/18/02 at 02:22 (095594)

Carrie

Two things:

If they hurt that much, I would be concerned. I'm not at all sure - from my reading of people's experiences and what the doctors have occasionally said - that hard orthotics are the best for very flat feet. If you are going to persevere with them, I would wear them for just a few minutes at a time, not as much as an hour. And if they don't get significantly more comfortable quite soon, go back to the podiatrist.

You can have joint flexibility without muscle length. Joint flexibility is a function of the ligaments, which allow movement of a joint within a certain safe range. Some people have a condition known as hypermobility, which means that the ligaments are too loose and are allowing too much movement. These individuals appear to be very flexible, but they don't necessarily have well-toned, well-conditioned muscles. And their joints are vulnerable to injury and some, e.g. the shoulder, to dislocation because of this excess movement.

So you can be loose-jointed and flexible and still have a tight achilles tendon and shortened calf muscles - these are sometimes/often the result of wearing high-heeled shoes.

Re: Orthotics

Carrie on 9/18/02 at 08:03 (095609)

Hi Julie,

After reading your posts I can only come back to the one conclsusion I have had all along. I am very strong, I have been an avid weightlifter and bike rider for some time, so I feel my muscles are pretty toned and conditioned, however, I fall in to the 'wore too many high heels' category for sure. In fact the funny thing about high heels, not so funny anymore, is that I always was the one who could last longest in my heels, ha ha thought I was made different I guess. I used to go dancing in high heels, work 12 hour days in high heels, etc etc. Of course that was years ago, then I kind of toned it down, but still would go from a shoe with a heel, at least an inch or two, to my running shoes for a nice 6 mile jog and yeah, probably I did not stretch enough. Anyhow the orthotics are alot like birkenstocks to me, as far as how they feel. The birks are hard inside too and it took me a few days or week or whatever to get used to them so I am hoping it will be the same with the orthotics. I am running out of options here as the cooler weather seems to be rushing in fast up here in Idaho. I have got to be able to wear a closed shoe so hopefully the orthotics will help. I wore them a bit longer than I should of yesterday simply because they felt really good after I got used to them, but then they started to hurt again.

I will keep on trying to get used to them, I have like 60 days to be able to exchange or alter them for free with no shipping charges so I am hoping to be able to figure it out by then.

I appreciate your advice allot
Hugs
C

Re: Orthotics

Julie on 9/18/02 at 09:45 (095616)

Carrie

Well, it sounds like you've got a tight achilles due to a combination of living in high heels and running without enough stretching. Both will shorten the calf muscle/tendon complex. So there you probably have a clue to at least two of the causative factors in your PF. The question is, what will you do about them? Dealing with PF begins to make sense once you have a handle on the cause.

I'm glad the orthotics are feeling more comfortable, and I hope they'll help.

Re: Orthotics

jan h. on 9/18/02 at 18:30 (095647)

I don't know, they haven't helped me at all.

Re: Orthotics

Jean on 9/21/02 at 06:46 (095884)

Hi Carrie.

I think you should persevere with your orthotics.I also have flat feet, and knock-knees for good measure.I have been wearing orthotics, pretty
hard ones, for a year or so.I started wearing them in reeboks to go running,
because I had recurring back pain and sciatica(pinched nerve), which is associated with flat feet.I have not had any back pain since then.
I started wearing orthotics in my shoes , a bit more everyday.They hurt intially, particularly in the evenings, when they seem to 'dig' into where the arch should be.
Now,they are actually quite comfortable.I don't know about you , but I have always hated the feeling of rolling-in ankles and the arch 'crushing'against the bottom of my shoe.
Anyway,hope all goes well for you.Hang in there

Jean

Re: Orthotics

nancy s. on 9/17/02 at 20:30 (095579)

carrie, what kind of 'hard' orthotics do you have? are they made of hard plastic (known as 'ice scrapers' by many here, including me), or are they of an EVA material that's just very firm but not completely unforgiving?

i have flat feet too. having first developed pf in 1999, i'm not 100% but am far better than i thought for a long time i ever would be.

the hard plastic 3/4-length orthotics killed my feet and set me way back. i later had much better ones -- firm but not rock-hard -- made by a professional orthotist. these were quality orthotics, although in the end i wasn't able to wear them either. but that is probably just me -- i do think they're well made, and were casted correctly, and my feet are just quirky. i wear birks 99% of the time, and they're what's best for me. they were one of the top three (maybe top two!) things that gave me my life back.

but please describe your orthotics in more detail so that you can get more specifically relevant responses. thanks.

nancy

Re: Orthotics

Carrie on 9/17/02 at 22:09 (095587)

Hi Nancy and thanks allot for answering my post. First of all the orthotics, actually after walking in them for a little bit tonight seemed really good. They are hard, def more hard then just firm, but I think they actually are allot like my birks. I don't know that a softer one would be enough support, but anyhow, they are 3/4 legnth I would also guess. They seem to be casted well enough, only time will tell I guess, like I said my feet are also very tricky, one day I think I am getting better, the next not. It goes back and forth with me, but I always have the pain and tender spots, esp on the back of my right heel. I know for sure that it is related to my achilles tendon too, not just the PF which is making it even more tricky. Shoes are a major problem here in Idaho for me, winter here is not only cold it is downright frigid, like snow and cold all the time, so I don't think I can survive it with the shoes I am wearing now, meaning birks and merrells ( sandals at that) anyhow I am just so tired of this whole thing as you can imagine and at times I get really frustrated. Like these orhtotics, most people don't seem to like the hard ones but my pod insisisted that I should give them a chance, what can I do right? I mean he is about the best pod in this town. I have to try it I guess. I did find them to be painful at first, then I wore them around a bit tonight and found that they really took the pressure off my heels and sore spots and raised my arches up nicely and made them feel so much better, only after a bit like usualy everything started to hurt again.

Anyhow thanks and I will keep ya all posted on how they work out.

I am curious on how a soft orthotic can work well, I hear people talking about them, and wonder how anything soft can support. The way my pod explained soft orthotics to me is that they basically don't support if they get to soft. My biggest problem is that my arch is not supported enough. I am so flexible that it baffles people how I can have this problem with my achilles and still be so flexible. I have no answer to this either.

anyhow thanks allot
hugs
:)
Carrie

Re: Orthotics

Julie on 9/18/02 at 02:22 (095594)

Carrie

Two things:

If they hurt that much, I would be concerned. I'm not at all sure - from my reading of people's experiences and what the doctors have occasionally said - that hard orthotics are the best for very flat feet. If you are going to persevere with them, I would wear them for just a few minutes at a time, not as much as an hour. And if they don't get significantly more comfortable quite soon, go back to the podiatrist.

You can have joint flexibility without muscle length. Joint flexibility is a function of the ligaments, which allow movement of a joint within a certain safe range. Some people have a condition known as hypermobility, which means that the ligaments are too loose and are allowing too much movement. These individuals appear to be very flexible, but they don't necessarily have well-toned, well-conditioned muscles. And their joints are vulnerable to injury and some, e.g. the shoulder, to dislocation because of this excess movement.

So you can be loose-jointed and flexible and still have a tight achilles tendon and shortened calf muscles - these are sometimes/often the result of wearing high-heeled shoes.

Re: Orthotics

Carrie on 9/18/02 at 08:03 (095609)

Hi Julie,

After reading your posts I can only come back to the one conclsusion I have had all along. I am very strong, I have been an avid weightlifter and bike rider for some time, so I feel my muscles are pretty toned and conditioned, however, I fall in to the 'wore too many high heels' category for sure. In fact the funny thing about high heels, not so funny anymore, is that I always was the one who could last longest in my heels, ha ha thought I was made different I guess. I used to go dancing in high heels, work 12 hour days in high heels, etc etc. Of course that was years ago, then I kind of toned it down, but still would go from a shoe with a heel, at least an inch or two, to my running shoes for a nice 6 mile jog and yeah, probably I did not stretch enough. Anyhow the orthotics are alot like birkenstocks to me, as far as how they feel. The birks are hard inside too and it took me a few days or week or whatever to get used to them so I am hoping it will be the same with the orthotics. I am running out of options here as the cooler weather seems to be rushing in fast up here in Idaho. I have got to be able to wear a closed shoe so hopefully the orthotics will help. I wore them a bit longer than I should of yesterday simply because they felt really good after I got used to them, but then they started to hurt again.

I will keep on trying to get used to them, I have like 60 days to be able to exchange or alter them for free with no shipping charges so I am hoping to be able to figure it out by then.

I appreciate your advice allot
Hugs
C

Re: Orthotics

Julie on 9/18/02 at 09:45 (095616)

Carrie

Well, it sounds like you've got a tight achilles due to a combination of living in high heels and running without enough stretching. Both will shorten the calf muscle/tendon complex. So there you probably have a clue to at least two of the causative factors in your PF. The question is, what will you do about them? Dealing with PF begins to make sense once you have a handle on the cause.

I'm glad the orthotics are feeling more comfortable, and I hope they'll help.

Re: Orthotics

jan h. on 9/18/02 at 18:30 (095647)

I don't know, they haven't helped me at all.

Re: Orthotics

Jean on 9/21/02 at 06:46 (095884)

Hi Carrie.

I think you should persevere with your orthotics.I also have flat feet, and knock-knees for good measure.I have been wearing orthotics, pretty
hard ones, for a year or so.I started wearing them in reeboks to go running,
because I had recurring back pain and sciatica(pinched nerve), which is associated with flat feet.I have not had any back pain since then.
I started wearing orthotics in my shoes , a bit more everyday.They hurt intially, particularly in the evenings, when they seem to 'dig' into where the arch should be.
Now,they are actually quite comfortable.I don't know about you , but I have always hated the feeling of rolling-in ankles and the arch 'crushing'against the bottom of my shoe.
Anyway,hope all goes well for you.Hang in there

Jean