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Did I overuse my custom orthotics?

Posted by Des on 6/17/04 at 11:11 (153283)

Hi - I hope someone can help.

The Podiatrist and a neurologist diagnosed me with PF & TTS at the outset of the visits and confirming NCV/EMG tests (August 2002). The Pod then gave a script for custom orthotics for PF. They helped a lot and made me more 'comfortable' so I began wearing them all the time in New Balance tennis shoes as he suggested.

However, within a few months I had nearly non-stop burning jagged pain in the soles and toes and arches of both feet which varies to lesser and greater degrees throughout each day and night, whether I'm walking, standing, sitting, resting/sleeping and just doesn't stop even though I am on Neurontin.

Before wearing the custom orthotics my pain was definitely less although very noticeable and a real nuisance to put up with. Also I could wear many different shoes and sandals for a few to several hours which were fairly comfortable and with minimal pain unless I was on my feet too much of course. But it was the night time pain I always felt when I went to bed and my feet were up which actually sent me to see the doctor in the first place.

So my question is - Did I wear the orthotics too much and cause my pain to get worse - or would this have happened anyway? By the way, the podiatrist has 'dismissed' me because he feels he can no longer help me as it was discovered I have stenosis of the lower back and he feels this may be causing some of my problem.

Thanks for any responses.


Re: Did I overuse my custom orthotics? Addendum

Des on 6/17/04 at 11:31 (153285)

I probably should add that I now CANNOT walk at all unless I wear the orthotics, or for around the house the Arizona Birk because it is just too painful and actually stops you in your tracks!

Re: Did I overuse my custom orthotics?

Richard, C.Ped on 6/21/04 at 08:11 (153580)

Hi Des,
It does not sound to me as if you over used the orthosis since the pain came after a couple of months. If he as 'dismissed' you as stated, I would try an orthopedic doc.

Re: Did I overuse my custom orthotics? Addendum

Connie A. on 7/14/04 at 21:14 (155469)


Your experience is very interesting to me, as I have also developed much greater (and different) pain since wearing customized orthotics to treat a posterior tibial tendon partial tear..Like you, I found the orthotics made walking less painful, at first (for 10 days), but ultimately, they've left me with far less mobility and far more pain. It's not in the same location as yours, but I too can no longer walkout with orthotics now,.

If you're taking Neurontin, then perhaps you've been diagnosed with RSD (also called CRPS), the pain syndrome of the sympathetic nervous system, since Neurontin treats that. I've been told that rigid orthotics sometimes cause RSD (rarely). Are your orthotics rigid, as mine are?

I'm still working on the problem, trying different types of orthotics (less rigid, but still providing adequate support). So far I have found manual physical therapy, the most helpful of everything I've tried, in particular a specific technique called 'Active Release Technique' (A.R.T.), which can help PF as well as TTS.

Good luck!!