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Orthotic shoe inserts / shoes

(28 Posts)
jdgirl Fri 25-Nov-11 08:12:02

Has anyone tried these and do they work?
I suffer from painful knees and lower back . Is there any other footwear that you have tried that works for you ?
Most days I feel ready for the knackers yard.

CMOTdibbler Fri 25-Nov-11 08:22:41

They can work, but you need to know what you need adjusting. Some physios do biomechanical assessment and will sort out orthotics if you need them - DH has orthotics that the physio has prescribed for his manky knees, and they aren't expensive either

marriednotdead Fri 25-Nov-11 09:13:37

Agree totally with CMOT.
I was referred to NHS podiatrist via my GP as my feet felt as if they were on fire (even after a night's sleep) and got my first set of orthotics from them. Once we'd established that they worked, I used them constantly until they wore out and then bought the Scholl sports ones (@£25). I've had to buy shoes a half size bigger to accommodate them but it's worth it.

You just need a professional to work out which way your feet need to tilt.

paddypoopants Fri 25-Nov-11 09:32:16

They do work - get your gp to refer you to a podiatrist or a physio. I have orthotics for my wonky feet and ankles and it is the difference between not being able to walk and completely normal. A podiatrist who specialises in bio-mechanics could help you - but it might be quite expensive depending on whether you have to have the orthotics specially made for your feet. (For my ds (3) it is going to be £275 for the consultation, casting and orthotics).

slug Fri 25-Nov-11 10:14:18

Your GP can refer you to the NHS biomechanical podiatrist. I thouroughly recommend going down this route.

I had orthotics made for me to correct posture problems caused by mulitple sporting injuries. Not only did they relieve the pain, after a year I no longer need to wear them as my feet have been realigned. I have an appointment every 2 years to keep track of my progress, but it looks, further injury not withstanding, that I'm completely cured.

CMOTdibbler Fri 25-Nov-11 10:48:31

Oof, thats expensive Paddy. My (private) physio does it as part of a normal appt, you buy the recommended orthotics (£20) , then he adjusts them for you with add ons as you go on. He doesn't charge dh for this as I'm there every week, but other knee patients get it as just part of their care (dh awaiting results of various bone scans before starting prehab)

jdgirl Fri 25-Nov-11 11:26:47

Thanks for the advice . I had corrective surgery for scoliosis (curvature of the spine) years ago and I am sure this is now affecting my posture. I am being referred to a physio so hopefully this will help.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 25-Nov-11 13:33:39

I'm a graduate Health Professions Council Podiatrist and we prescribe them but only after a biomechanical examination.

Sometimes it's simple changes that make the most difference, if your wearing slip on flat shoes, court shoes or any heel over 1" an insole will not work. They only work if your foot is stable over the insole so a flat shoe with a lace, buckle, or velcro fastening over the bridge of the foot is needed or as you put your foot to the floor the foot moves forward off the insole and you dont get the benefit.

Trainers are ideal for insoles as the insole the trainer comes in often comes out easily which makes more room for the insole. They get a bad press but actually a lot of Podiatrist wear them to work. When I worked in the NHS the hardest part of fitting insoles to patients was getting the right shoes because the patients would come in with flat shoes with no fastening and then get a bit stroppy when I wouldnt prescribe the insoles.

You can get insoles which claim to fit into court shoes but they dont actually do anything but the placebo effect is good enough for some patients.

If your wearing court shoes, flat shoes without a fastening on the bridge of the foot or un-supportive shoes such as converse style trainers or wedges you can expect to get some joint pain. Going into flat supportive shoes can cause tempory pain in the backs of the calves but this goes when the muscle stretches back out. Female patients do try and tell us they cannot walk wearing flat shoes but this isnt true, if we had no shoes at all they would walk normally not on tiptoes.

jdgirl Fri 25-Nov-11 15:24:35

Fluffy - thanks the advice. I only ever wear flatish shoes so it won't be a problem for me not to wear heels.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 25-Nov-11 16:22:55

They need to fasten over the bridge of the foot, nothing slip on or that fastens lower down. Think your school shoes! personally I'm keen on MBT shoes/trainers but thats a personal not professional opinion.

I got mine for £75 off the internet, they were £175 in John Lewis shock

jdgirl Fri 25-Nov-11 16:38:25

Thanks for that I have looked at them and wondered if they are worth the money.

GreenPartridge Sat 26-Nov-11 17:44:15

Orthotics can work well but good off the peg ones have been shown to work as well as custom made ones. Although the article talks about knee pain in runners there is a section on buying advice for orthotics

ArthurPewty Sat 26-Nov-11 17:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bigwombat Sat 26-Nov-11 18:03:44

paddypoopants - can your ds not see the orthotist on the NHS? Dd2 (who has severe SN, including hypermobility) has approx 2 pairs of cast splints per year on NHS. Not sure what the criteria are for NHS treatment in this area. For her they have made the difference between being completely non-mobile, and almost walking independently.

Fo0ffysFestiveShmooffery Sat 26-Nov-11 18:10:14

I have Pes Cavus and Orthotics were a godsend as a child. I'd certainly try them if I were you.

magso Sun 27-Nov-11 10:55:28

The NHS in my area is very short of podiatrist services, so I had to seek private help. Private health insurance if sometimes covers appointments but not usually appliances if specially made orthotics required. Either way best to discuss with the gp.

paddypoopants Sun 27-Nov-11 13:22:32

We were told we would have quite a long wait on the NHS as the problem is not that pronounced yet. although it is painful. We don't really want it to develop any further as it will be easier to correct now. The £300 is a one off cost and then its £70 a year for casting and new orthotics. He's only 3. We went to a podiatrist who was recommended as she did young children.

ArthurPewty Sun 27-Nov-11 15:31:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenniec79 Sun 27-Nov-11 17:04:08

It depends what your problem/symptoms are and what your requirements from your shoes are.

Custom shoes/insoles are the expensive ones, they're the ones you get measured up for by an orthotist and they might have cut outs or similar under pressure points etc.

Heel cups/arch supports are the stiff in shoe ones that support those bits and can be good if that is your main problem. Metatarsal domes take pressure off the forefoot, so can be good if it's pain under the ball of your foot that's the problem. I have several patients who swear by fitflops (and love my own) and they offload the front too, so might be an option to try.

You need to see someone who can advise you though, whether that's a podiatrist, orthopaedic clinic, physio or even running shop will depend on your local services and actual problem (eg if it only comes on in your marathon training then start at running shop!)

Physio should also be able to teach you some stretches for your calves and feet to help - rolling a cold bottle under your foot is good for the plantar fascia, and hanging your heels off the bottom stair is great for both calf and sole stretch, lunges too. Strength, stability and flexibility are the mainstays of avoiding operations on feet, so get them moving!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Nov-11 17:20:52

To be honest I have patients who are fine with scholl insoles (not the black plastic ones the ones that have a pattern top cover).

It depends how much control you need to stabilise the feet.

Dont forget a lot of GPs say podiatry waiting lists are long but ime we see patients in under 6 weeks so I dont know what they base that on. When I first started waiting list were longer but what annoys me is when the gp has stated bio team and the admin dept book them in with an ordiary podiatrist like me, who has an interest in bio but would rather be treating a wound. And even then you have to get the right shoes and that takes longer for some patients, they seem to think if Bally or Van Dal makes a shoe it must automatically be a good shoe and therefore suitable for insoles.

jenniec79 Sun 27-Nov-11 17:55:50

Fluffy I almost get the feeling we should be starting a full on foot clinic on here tonight!!

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Nov-11 18:10:25

Are you pod or physio Jennie?

Huffpot Sun 27-Nov-11 18:29:14

I have pes cavas too plus extra bones in my feet and I originally paid for custom made orthotics as the pain was unbearable. Since my GP has referred me directly to a surgeon who is having more orthotics custom made for me on the NHS.
Mine are worth every penny though as I can actually be mobile again - I hobble without them grin I am getting slightly over wearing NB trainers all the tine though as they're the only ones my orthotics fit into envy

ArthurPewty Sun 27-Nov-11 18:42:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenniec79 Sun 27-Nov-11 18:47:29

Neither fluffy - I'm an ortho reg

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