Can I rehabilitate my feet and get rid of my orthotics? Can I rehabilitate my feet and get rid of my orthotics?

starting strength gym
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Can I rehabilitate my feet and get rid of my orthotics?

  1. #1

    Default Can I rehabilitate my feet and get rid of my orthotics?

    • wichita falls texas june seminar date
    • woodmere new york july seminar date
    • las vegas nevada august seminar
    I play soccer and have been doing a weights program for a couple of months. I've just started reading starting strength.

    I've been wearing orthotics in my shoes for years. I used to get sore ankles and knees after soccer games and also my feet would often roll outwards also causing foot/ankle pain. I saw a physiotherapist who said my feet had "fallen arches" and I had "lax ligaments" in my ankles. He gave me orthotics for my shoes which stopped the general ankle and knee pain. I also found I had to strap my feet/ankles for games to stop my feet from rolling.

    I was wondering if there was anything I could do to restore my arches and maybe tighten the ligaments (if that's possible - don't know much about ligaments). I found this blog post online:

    http://traineradvice.blogspot.com/20...ng-calves.html

    The author says you can do isometric drills to strengthen muscles around the metatarsal joint and that clients of his have been able to throw out their orthotics after this type of training.

    I'm just wondering if others here have heard of this method and used it with any success. Also, I'm wondering how you'd know when your muscles have become stable enough to forgo the orthotics.

    Am I right in thinking I shouldn't lift barefoot if I can't rehabilitate my feet like this? Do orthotics work okay in weightlifting shoes?

  2. #2

    Default

    I found another article about rehabilitating flat feet:

    http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/...b_FlatFeet.pdf

    This one has different ideas - more complex exercises and the use of special innersoles that stimulate muscles in the feet.

    I want to try the ideas in these two articles but I'm not sure how I can gauge my progress as the physiotherapist diagnosed me by looking at the angle at the back of my heel whilst I walked and I'd obviously have some trouble doing that for myself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Here's my experience:

    I was prescribed orthotics, for fallen arches, when I was 12 years old and pretty much wore them until I was 34. Without them I had chin splints and knee pain when running. About a year ago I read a whole bunch of stuff on barefoot walking / running. Since then I've worn mininmalist shoes such as the vibram fivefingers and vivo's nearly all the time and put my orthotics in the bin. I can now run barefoot better than I ever did with sneakers and have no pain. I think walking barefoot, or as close to it as possible, is best and can rehabilitate. YMMV.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    90

    Default

    Yeah, I've started using Vibrams with my flat feet and they have helped a lot. I also lift in them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    545

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strength Beyond Strength View Post
    Do orthotics work okay in weightlifting shoes?
    Somewhere I have orthotics a podiatrist made for me to run in. They didn't help as much as I'd hoped, and I'm not currently running, so I had forgotten about them. But this reminds me that he told me to lift in them too--so I assume that means they work for weightlifting. I don't know that that is the same as working in weightlifting shoes, however--the orthotics have high solid plastic heels, and you'd be layering that on the solid shoe heel. I will dig mine out and try them in flat-soled Chuck Taylors, though.

    Also note that, as mentioned, mine have a solid heel and were only for running. My guess is that a softer orthotic made for daily wear would simply get crushed down while lifting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    895

    Default

    Similar experience. Progressively growing orthotics, but read enough Crossfit propaganda to eliminate them. In short, the orthotics only allow the shortened, unworking components in your feet to keep shortening and slacking off. My own preference is Nike Free. I definitely experienced calf/ankle/foot pain as everything adjusted, expect you probably will, too.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for these replies. It's really good to hear that other's have had success rehabbing themselves.

    I've heard of Vibram Five Fingers and Nike Free but don't know a lot about them. Are they going to do a better job of being like barefoot walking than Chuck Taylor's?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by happyfred View Post
    Here's my experience:

    I was prescribed orthotics, for fallen arches, when I was 12 years old and pretty much wore them until I was 34. Without them I had chin splints and knee pain when running. About a year ago I read a whole bunch of stuff on barefoot walking / running. Since then I've worn mininmalist shoes such as the vibram fivefingers and vivo's nearly all the time and put my orthotics in the bin. I can now run barefoot better than I ever did with sneakers and have no pain. I think walking barefoot, or as close to it as possible, is best and can rehabilitate. YMMV.
    Hey HappyFred, I know this is an old thread, but I'm wondering if I can ask you a little more about your barefoot transition. I also wore orthotics for ten years and am now trying to do some more barefoot conditioning work. How have things turned out for you?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Greenlantern, it's worked out great for me. It's been about a year now since I put my orthotics in the bin.

    That said I've been very consistent in wearing minimalist shoes most of the time - I think this is very important because normal shoes still provide a lot of support and have a big heal, which in many people causes an unnatural stride. For example - I always wore my orthotics in my running shoes and if I ran without them I had shin splints and knee problems. When running / walking barefoot you can not land heel first and are naturally forced to change your gait to land more on the middle or fore foot. Overtime, with minimalist shoes, my feet / legs (i'm not really sure which one or both) must have gotten stronger and adapted to going barefoot (minimalist shoes) and now I can run with no problems.

    The only problem is finding shoes. Pretty much all normal shoes suck, even chuck taylor's, in my opinion - there's still way too much rubber between your foot and the ground. I wear mostly vivo barefoot shoes, unfortunately they are expensive. Also I'm lucky I don't have to wear a suit to work so I get away with the more casual vivo's. Currently I'm in Sweden it's -15c outside and snow everywhere so I've been wearing normal outdoor shoes for the first time in about a year and I can feel the difference. My stride has changed and feet are not as comfortable.

    Obviously I don't know about your situation or how bad your feet are but I'd definitely recommend going barefoot / minimalist shoes. If you have any other questions I'd be glad to answer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    27

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    I can add somewhat to this thread--

    I'm 22, when I was 16 or so I sprained my left ankle pretty bad skateboarding. The entire area swelled 2-4 times normal size, ridiculous pain, etc. Since then I've had one or two minor sprains in the same ankle (due to be being a jackass mostly), and since then I noticed that one of the muscles in my ankle. Years later (maybe one year ago) I went to a foot/ankle doctor where she took a look and basically said its fine, but I could see a physical therapist if I wanted. While there she also suggested I get scanned to see if I could use orthotic insoles. Now I realize theres a good chance she gets paid for every insole she ends up ordering from her practice, but nonetheless I said, ok what the hell and went for it.

    I stepped on a pressure-sensitive floor mat that measured my arch and weight distribution while standing still, and while walking. Apparently there was a difference and long story short, I went ahead and got the insoles (whether actually justified or not). As it turns out, perhaps due to my ankle injury perhaps not, one of my legs is slightly longer than the other (by a miniscule amount, but still there is a difference)

    Now when I started SS, I squatted first in my skate shoes (without insoles) then barefoot for a week or two (noticed a stability difference and a difference in the anatomy of the movement. Then I got rips lifting shoes from rogue, and started squatting. Defintely noticed a difference there. Then suddenly I remembered I had these insoles (as I hadn't worn them for a couple of weeks at this point) and discovered the insoles in the lifting shoes could be removed, hence I could use my orthotic soles with the lifting shoes.

    After all of this, from watching my movements at least with the squat, my most stable/evenly distributed movement has been with the insoles. I assume a big part of any movement is the idea that you're working right and left sides of your body equally and at the same time. For people who are overly dominant on one side or cross dominant, learning the correct movement can be challenging at first (I would presume, at is it was a big strange for me personally). I was going to ask Rip himself what he thinks about orthotics, but just from trial, error, and my own observations, I left the orthotics in the shoes and have been lifting in them for months now.

    So as for the original posters question, I noticed that after wearing the orthotics for a while, my natural arches look fine now without insoles (for example, when I step out of the shower and see the moisture impression that is left on my black tile floor). However, one leg is still slightly longer than the other so when I walk without the insoles, my hip position shifts from when I am wearing them, as you can probably imagine.

    TL;DR: my arches have gotten better since I started wearing insoles. Anecdotally, I can tell you the muscles in my feet have gotten used to the proper position they're supposed to be in and therefore it is easy to resume the same muscle positions while standing/walking without. However, if there is a difference in leg length, this could change your hip alignment which obviously would have an impact when doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, power cleans.

    Hope this helps--

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •