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Latest orthotics....

Posted by RACHAEL T. on 11/22/04 at 21:56 (164572)

I have restrained from posting on these 'latest greatest custom orthotics' that I purchased about 2 months ago. I purchased them from a pedorthist who is also a fabricator of artificial limbs & breasts. I thought if he could make an artificial limb comfortable on someone, he would be a good candidate for me to try. I consulted with him & showed him my previous custom orthotics (several pairs!) He foam box casted me - & said he'd work w/ me on a weekly basis till we got the orthotics comfortable & functional for me - & mechanically correct. Well, he has kept his word - I've been there each & every Wed. of the past several weeks for him to make a 5-15 min. adjustment while I wait. Each adjustment has brought me to a better level of comfort & function....& I am not in pain. Of course, I worry that I may be announcing this today & pain will arrive tomorrow...but that is actually doubtful to me now as I've been wearing these for about 2+ months now & I am still good & still improving. I think as we all have agreed before - that a good pair of orthotics is key! I am hopeful now that I've latched onto a great, caring pedorthist & wish for all this same situation. I shall keep you updated as time progresses & my feet progress too! Thus far, I've worn these orth. w/ my Brooks Ariels & with my Ariat riding boots daily ~ & yes, of course, I still LOVE my birks; but I have a new & improved outlook on orthotics. Again, I repeat - I will post again as time passes. But, I am surely enjoying this present time more than past orthotic wearing time!

Re: Latest orthotics....

Janice T. on 11/22/04 at 23:36 (164581)

Please, where is this podiatrist? I haven't found one with any patience. I have tried my latest for 5 weeks and my feet are worse.

Re: Latest orthotics....

Richard, C.Ped on 11/23/04 at 12:39 (164604)

Cpeds Rock!!!

Re: Richard!

Julie on 11/23/04 at 16:09 (164616)

Indeed they do. (Rock.)

Now that you're back, I would really welcome your comments on the post I made the other day (see 'A Hymn to Orthotics'). I meant it helpfully, but the only responses were familiar complaints from people who haven't been as lucky as I have. I would like to know if you agree with my feeling that orthotics are an important treatment protocol for people with biomechanical abnormalities.

And I (and I'm sure others) would be glad of your views on how best to go about obtaining orthotics that work.

Thanks in advance, and all the best,


Re: Julie...orthotics

Suzanne D. on 11/23/04 at 17:25 (164622)

Julie, I really appreciated your post, 'A Hymn to Orthotics' and agree with you that orthotics are very important to those with PF who have biomechanical abnormalities. I don't have the understanding or expertise that you have, but I do know that as far as I am concerned, they have made a great difference in my healing from PF.

When my first pain began, over three years ago, while waiting for my doctor's appointment, I bought some over-the-counter Dr. Scholl's inserts just because it felt like I needed something in my arch area to help with the pain. My family dr. diagnosed PF and said I was doing all the right things with my inserts and lace-up Keds. I was given stretching exercises to do and told to ice.

Two months later, no better, I found this site, read for hours, located a Birkenstock store an hour away, and bought Arizona's the next day. The orthotic footbed helped, and I later bought Birkenstock inserts and SAS shoes. I improved over time and then switched to Super Feet inserts in an effort to find something even better.

My most helpful orthotics have been the modified Birk footbeds to which extra arch support was added along with soft-footbed padding.

Sometimes I think my story sounds sort of 'mixed-up' and 'do-it-yourself' and know that a good pedorthist would have been preferable, but I do know the orthotics aided my healing and are keeping me almost pain-free today.

And another great thing is that the lower back pain, which I had experienced for ten years and for which I was treated twice monthly all that time by a chiropractor, is GONE since wearing orthotics. I have not had one day of back pain in the three years since wearing them.

I saw an old video made at my school which showed me walking down the hall with my students (pre-PF days). I could not believe how I walked! I seemed to rock somewhat from side-to-side (and I wasn't pregnant and was quite thin at the time). I noticed myself walking just the other night in a building with glass doors in which I could see myself for some distance, and I was not walking with that waddling motion that I saw in the video. So, without a formal diagnosis of my walking, I still would say I had biomechanical problems, and orthotics have certainly helped me!

I hope this story helps someone.
Suzanne :)

Re: Richard!

Elyse B on 11/24/04 at 07:40 (164657)

Julie I am not sure you read the posts carefully under a 'Hymn to Orthotics.' It is my understanding that we were not disagreeing with you that orthotics could be helpful. The gist of posts were that they are overprescribed and podiatrists have a tendency to prescribe them for everyone as an easy answer to PF, even those without so called biomechanical issues.

As you yourself stated '......as so many people have had bad luck with orthotics, either because they have been badly casted or made, or unnecessarily/wrongly prescribed in the first place.'

Re: Julie...orthotics

Julie on 11/24/04 at 15:31 (164672)

You don't sound mixed up at all, Suzanne. It sounds as though you dealt with your pf intelligently and sensitively, and all you did must have been right, because your feet are so much better now. It's marvellous that your lower back pain has gone too - but not surprising. Our feet are so important: what goes on with our feet affects every bit of us, and dealing with misalignment down below often sorts out trouble up above. It can work the other way around too, of course.

I've heard good reports about Superfeet orthotics - in fact I was thinking of getting some when I was having so much trouble a couple of weeks ago (while my new orthotics were being made). I was also thinking of getting in touch with Dr Kiper - I had a good read of his website and was impressed with his explanation of his Silicon Dynamic orthotics. But then my new orthotics arrived, so I did neither of these things. And now, after a few days, my bunion has recovered and all is well with my feet again, so I am happy.

Take care, and thanks for your post.

Re: Elyse

Julie on 11/24/04 at 15:45 (164673)

I did read them very carefully, Elyse. But they were disappointing, because their gist, as you - quite correctly - describe it, has been posted a great many times over the years, and the effect has been to discourage people who might be helped by them from trying them, or from persevering with them. They've had a bad press here. I think everyone who has been around heelspurs for any length of time has got the message that orthotics are overprescribed, badly prescribed, badly made, painful, and no bloody good.

I was trying to give another, more positive message (a) because my own experience with them (and I realise that I have been lucky in my podiatrist) has been altogether positive and (b) because I know, from my study of human anatomy and my observation of my students over many years, I understand that misalignments in the feet can lead to problems elsewhere in the body, and that if they are correctable (i.e. with orthotics) they should be corrected. But that message seems to have been drowned out by the old anti-orthotic message. So be it.