Thursday, May 12, 2011

Orthotics Ordeal

Last week I received my custom orthotics from my podiatrist.  A month before, he fit me for a pair due to my Achilles tendon issues.  I've been wearing them gradually, according to his instructions, to break them in.  The right side has been perfect. The left side keeps sliding up and I can feel pressure where the arch and ball of the foot meet.  Nothing major, but enough to notice.  I intended to give it another week or so and see if it works itself out.  Other than that, no problems with getting used to them.... until yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to attempt a run with the orthotics.  I intended to do three laps around the lake for a 2.25 mile run.  I only completed 2 laps.  Midway through the run I noticed both shins were getting sore.  I finished the second lap and it felt like I had shin splints.  Even 15 mins after the run I could still feel it.  Now of course I've not had any issue with my shins in well over a year.  I had a bit last year when getting back into running, but a change in shoes quickly corrected that.  So I'm 100% confident it has to do with the orthotics.

I've read a lot about orthotics and how you have to get used to them, but most of what I've read is in regards to the feet themselves, not shins or upper legs.  I'll definitely be contacting the doctor today about it, but I'm wondering if any readers might have had a similar issue.

I'm taking it as similar to changing to a minimalist shoe.  I'll need to gradually increase the use of the orthotics with running and let my legs adapt to the shift in mechanics.

Anyone else have experience with orthotics and running?


Paul said...

Orthotics for AT ? Interesting...was there a reason for them you can remember? What is the means by which they solve the problem?

I had terrible AT and solved it by running in more flexible shoes, nike frees, (and moving to shorter, faster forefoot stride) as well as doing eccentric heel exercises. I did this gradually over a couple of months.

I worry that orthotics will cause as many problems as they fix..they will weaken your legs in some ways over time.

Anyway..what do I know?..statistics of one. Everybody is different...

I agree that to properly try the orthotics I would do just as you suggest: start very small and build up...and do walking too as a buildup.

Annie said...

How do you know if you are getting a shin splint? What does it feel like?