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My chiropractor had been talking to me for awhile about orthotics, so I went ahead and ordered them. My first reaction? I don't like them. My foot feels way too high in my shoe. I made myself run a mile in them, but it wasn't comfortable. So, should I return them? Get a different pair? Scrap the idea entirely? Get different running shoes?
A bit of background: I'm in my 40s and normally run 10-15 miles per week but have gotten injured when trying to increase the mileage. My latest injury was plantar fasciitis (left foot) in March/April. I used ice, Strassburg sock, etc. and recovered enough to PR in a 10K. But I worry about reinjury. I have high arches, but they collapse when I run, especially the left foot.
Another runner gave me advice to forget about orthotics, that I just need to strengthen the muscles in my feet. He's my age and runs a lot more than I do, without injury.
Anyone have experience with similar foot issues, orthotics, strengthening exercises, who can advise me? Thanks!
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I think orthotics are way over prescribed. I used to wear them. They were completely rigid. I developed horrible PF. It has taken a LONG time to get over things but I'm through the issues now. I am totally out of my orthotics and when at home - in a home that is 90% hardwood floors - I'm barefoot 100% of the time. I think they really ended up messing up my feet (making them very weak) as well as my calves. (Making them very tight and atrophied due to non-use.)
I wrote a blog posting on my perspecctive on orhtotics. As I describe - and I got from my podiatrist: He sees them as a temporary fix - like a splint or cast that gets used on a limb. BUT - when the acute problem is healed - get out of the orthotic so the foot can move again.
There are foot exercises that can be done. And just walking barefoot can help as well.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
I tend to agree with Jim about over-prescription and overuse of orthotics, though I'm not especially well qualified to comment. Anyway. I was going to say I never had them, but I have, though not by prescription. I used a pair of over-the-counter, 3/4 length orthotics (Spenco, I think) during a bout with plantar fasciitis. This was in the bad old days when the internet was in its infancy and advice came from magazines and word of mouth. From what I've read since, I didn't have a severe case. But the orthotics helped and allowed me to continue training through the PF. When the PF pain was gone, I stopped using the orthotics.