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Defective Shoes???

Posted by PF and in PAIN on 12/05/04 at 22:45 (165247)

I am thankful to this website for helping me pen point my problem with PF, which was confirmed by my general practioner doctor. The problem is, after almost two months of no running, it is not getting any better! I announced to my wife this weekend that maybe changing shoes would help. I remembered when I was younger, I developed a bad case of shin splints and a change in shoes immediately relieved the pain.

I had purchased a pair of $120 very popular running shoes in April made by a major manufacturer. (I won't mention the name). After browsing through the shoe finder on this website, I decided to grab my shoes and put them on the table to see if I really needed motion-control shoes. I figured I would check for a slant inward or outward, even though I didn't see any significant uneven wear on the sole of the shoes.

I immediately saw a MAJOR difference. The shoe that is NOT in pain was significantly lower and the shoe for the foot with PF had a huge tilt inward. I thought, 'Wow! I have some serious pronation problems.' But looking closer at the shoes, I noticed that the right shoe was made significantly different than the other! There is an oval on the back heel of each shoe with lettering inside. The right shoe has no fabric underneath the oval on the right shoe and the upper is about an inch shorter than the other! (They are both the same model and size.)

Now I am wondering, could this be a defective shoe that is causing my PF. (I often wear my running shoes for casual wear with jeans.) What should I do about it? Any input would be appreciated!

Re: Defective Shoes???

PF and in PAIN on 12/05/04 at 22:48 (165248)

P.S. I should mention that a chiroprator once told me that I have a leg discrepency but it has never caused pain in my foot before late this summer.

Thanks for any advice!

Re: Defective Shoes???

Julie on 12/06/04 at 02:04 (165249)

I am not a doctor, but my guess is that years of running with a leg length discrepancy will have stressed your feet (and possibly also your hips and spine) over a period of time, and that the recent running in defective shoes was the final straw that tipped you into PF.

Three suggestions:

1. See a podiatrist for a full hands-on evaluation and diagnosis of the cause(s) (you may also have biomechanical problems e.g.excessive pronation) and a treatment plan that targets the cause(s). Your GP is probably correct, but not necessarily - you need a foot specialist. And my guess is just that: a guess based on the two items of information you've given, which may not be the whole story.

2. See another chiropractor for advice about the leg length difference. There are different reasons for discrepancy. If it is a genuine discrepancy, and not an apparent, functional discrepancy due to scoliosis (spinal S-curvature) it can be dealt with with a heel lift on the shorter side. If it is due to spinal or pelvic problems they may be treatable, but not so easily.

3. Read the heel pain book on this site for good information about PF and self-treatment options.

4. (optional) Consider sueing the 'major manufacturer'. (I'm joking, but that's a shocking story.)

You were wise to stop running, and certainly you should stop wearing the shoes. Different shoes may help, but don't start running again in them until you are fully healed.

LLet us know how you get on. Do see a podiatrist.
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Re: Defective Shoes??? PS

Julie on 12/06/04 at 02:07 (165250)

I should have said that if the leg length discrepancy is apparent and caused by scoliosis, a heel lift is NOT the answer: it would be bad for your spine.
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Re: Defective Shoes??? PS

Dr Ben Pearl on 12/08/04 at 03:39 (165337)

get evaluated & replace shoes