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I've been to see a physio about recurring pain in the left ankle from running, and questioned some hip and back pain aswell. I've been having the back pain much longer than I've been running. She told me I had muscle length imbalances in legs, hips and back. Have been given exercises to help this. Also referred to a podiatrist after talking about my feet.
I saw the pod the same day, she said there was less than 2% mobiliity in my left big toe joint. The foot was also very flat, and over-pronates a lot. The other foot is much better, with more flexibilty and pronates less, but is also flat. Both big toes point outwards, and press lightly on the next toes. My ankle direction is off, but my knees and hips straight. She advised me that my ankle direction as a young child would have caused an unnatural gait, and my feet learned to compensate, causing me to develop bunions at a young age. If my feet hadn't compensated, I would be walking around on the outer sides of my feet, and not putting my big toes down. Thankfully, I compensated lol. My gait has never led to any questions, because the compensation made it look somewhat natural. I had both bunions removed and big toes re-aligned 15 years ago due to daily pain, but they are very slowly beginning to return. My feet have grown half a size at least in the last year. Pod says this is because they are just flattening out more. -sigh-
She told me that because of the dysfunction in my left foot, my legs are functionally different lengths, even though they are exactly the same length. That would account for the muscle imbalances.
So, she measured me up for orthotics - she knows I want to run. They are going to be 3/4 length.. made of carbon fibre, with a comfy covering that I can have replaced every now and then - but the orthotics should last longer than me. Hefty price of £175.
She didn't examine my trainers (I run in stability shoes), but I did when I got home and because they haven't seen much action since I got them last May, the outer sole doesn't show any wear, but the insoles show my toes and ball of foot clearly, and NOT my heel. Is that strange? I thought I landed on the heel. It's a mystery!
I asked if I should continue to run in stability shoes, and she said yes. I've seen people say otherwise here and there since I've started researching it. Has anyone got any input from their own experience with orthotics?
I think I'm going to have to get some new running shoes, as I seem to have outgrown my current ones, but I've taken the insole out and there seems to be a bit more room. I wonder how long it's going to take me at gait analysis time in the shop, trying all the shoes on. I think I'm going to have to try the whole range on lol.
Thanks for any input, I'm in limbo with not running, without proper fitting shoes and having to wait for my new platforms.