NHS Orthotics

Hi all,

 After many obvious issues with my biomechanics causing chronic shin pain I was referred to the NHS Podiatrist as I couldn't afford orthotics privately.

I also switched to NHS Physio (can't say I was too impressed with the service) and he told me that NHS Orthotics didn't help him with his shin splints when he had them.

They're really my main hope of finally sorting this- I've been told the upper shin pain is causeed by my tibialis posterior and anterior muscles being overworked and causing periostitis (pulling on the periosteum) on my tibia  and that orthotics will sort this.

Since I was sent for the cast orthotic (she basically watched me walk and pressed my feet one by one into some foam, took like 2 mins) I've been told by a sports therapists that I have one leg longer than another which is causing a twisted pelvis and therefore a curved spine and weakened glutes as a result. She recommended to put a gel insert in my longer leg to correct this but as she's not a Physio I'm unsure what to do.

 Any thoughts? 


  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    I got my orthotics via NHS physio and podiatrist and they've worked a treat (shin splints also). However this was in conjunction with specific exercises which I did religiously and paying attention to how I run. Using the NHS is hardly slumming it - we have the best health service in the world and available to everyone regardless of whether they can afford it or not. They all get the same training so why pay extra for a fancy waiting room at a private clinic. It's not 'free' - I've been paying for it all my working life and I expect you have too. I've seen NHS physios a few times with running injuries and they've been great, often they are runners themselves and the clinics are full of sporty people with sports injuries!

    Most people have one leg longer than the other - pay close attention to posture and running form and do lots of /hip/leg strengthening exercises to spread the load. It really helps - Good luck
  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    That's *glute/hip/leg exercises btw
  • Thanks for the response. That's reassuring to hear. I've not heard much positive about this particular chap I'm seeing but I have him again tomorrow so I'll give him a chance. It was my masseur who spotted the biomechanics issues. I'm 17 so not quite paying for it all yet!

    I'm hoping they will work then!  

  • Blackdonkey123?

  • How did you guess?image

  • Still have shin pain?! Nothing wrong with nhs treatment if you're seeing a physio experienced in treating sporting injuries, which sounds like you are so hopefully the orthotics solve it - I'd hope you should feel improvements very quickly (after initial rest period) if they do.  Glut exercises all help alot of running biomechanical issues.

  • I had it suggested that I may have compartment syndrome, by both my masseur and physio. They have said to wait until I see an orthopaedic consultant on the 31st of Dec though to have this confirmed. I climbed Mont Blanc in July for a week and had no pain so this confuses me how this is possible.

    If I did have compartment syndrome and had to have surgery- how long would it be after the surgery until I could begin gentle training again? I am very worried.

  • oh dear!   A consultant can do a compartment pressure test to measure fluid pressure within the compartment - thats considered the gold standard for diagnosis.  Faulty biomechanics is thought to be the main cause.  Treatment obviously up to consultant, but a fasciotomy would be last resort but is supposed to be a relatively minor operation, could be back to full training/running in 8 weeks.  (Not long to wait for a ortho on the NHS!)

  • Thanks for the response. If I'm honest, I'm sort of hoping it is compartment syndrome and that they can just sort it out with an operation. It's dragged on for 7 months with no signs of improvement and at least with surgery (8 weeks is nothing compared to what I've put up with so far) I know I'll be able to finally get rid of the pain.

  • However, how long would it take to get the actual operation? Are the waiting lists long?

  • For non life threatening conditions, you can wait a while. I was on a list for 18 months for shoulder surgery and only got it done so quickly cause of someone else cancelling...
  • I can't not train for 18 months! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Maybe if I'm young things will speed up though?

  • Don't think being young gets you skipped up any waiting lists unfortunately.
  • See the Orthopaedic Consultant and if necessary, get a referral to an Orthotist who will assess the whole of your body. The Podiartist remit finishes at the knee so he/she will not relate to what is or is not going on in your spine. You may or may not have one leg shorter than the other, but you need to have someone look at your spine in relation to the rest of your body.

  • L P 9 - Your comment about Podiatrists is incorrect. Their remit does not finish at the knee.
  • Forgive me if I am wrong, I understood Podiatrists treated the lower leg to the knee. Please enlighten us all.

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