Today, I’d like to share my orthotics discovery and hope it can help someone else get through some pain. I came across orthotics recently after my last physical examinations at the doctor’s. As with the previous times, she informed me that I was relatively healthy (which is always a good thing to hear) but this time she pointed out the flatness in my feet. No one had ever pointed that out and I never knew I had a problem. I’ve been playing sports for as long as I can remember and I've always attributed any soreness to regular wear and tear from highly intense sporting and recreational activity.
The doctor set up a meeting with the Orthotist who proceeded to scan my feet and run some analytics on the distribution of ground reaction forces while walking and standing. What I learnt from the experience was the long term impact of training with flat feet. Flat feet is a condition in which the arch in the foot is lower than usual. Apparently It is common amongst Africans and Asians (that’s what I was told) and painless which makes it difficult to detect or take seriously. They can have adverse consequences if not properly addressed; some of which include, pain in your ankles, knees, hips or lower back.
Insoles were prescribed for me and a few weeks later, I got to wear them for the first time. The Orthotist warned me about breaking them in gradually but she also said when I got used to them, they’ll make me more explosive while running. I paid attention, mostly to the part about explosiveness and the first day I got them, I ran up the memorial stairs in Calgary. For about the best part of the next week, I experienced soreness in my limbs as I was finally able to engage muscle groups in my legs I never knew were present. It indeed, made me more explosive as I learnt to adjust to more forefront running than landing on my heels all the time. That meant less pain on my knees and of course, improved endurance.
If you find that you are having lower back pain or knee irritation when you run, pay your doctor a visit to examine your feet. You might just be able to correct that with some orthotics. I have included a video that explains arch types and the value of custom orthotics,
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