Insoles update

Shine a light – how hard can it be to just get my damned feet sorted?!  I first got referred to podiatry, and later orthotics, over 3 years ago and still haven’t got a pair of insoles which are right.

I have very high foot arches, but when I stand and bear weight my weak ligaments collapse which makes me flat footed.  This causes both my ankles and knees to roll inwards, rotates my hips and gives me SI joint and lower back pain.  Arch supports help to stop the feet collapsing and theoretically help align the lower body into a more neutral position.

When I first saw podiatry they gave me a pair of SlimFlex insoles with a 3.5 degree arch support but with zero shock absorption or much of anything else:

InsolesThey helped a little but I was still getting bad knee and hip pain.  I wore these for 2 years before seeing another Podiatrist who said they are generally only used for a few weeks to see if they help before a “proper” support is used!

Having obviously lost some faith in Podiatry I decided to pay to see a private Biomechanical specialist, who basically ripped me off.  I thought I was paying for a pair of custom moulded insoles but ended up paying £40 for a pair of off the peg insoles I could have bought myself online for £25:

They had a similar arch support to the SlimFlex but at least were cushioned for shock absorption.  They helped a bit more but I was still getting hip and knee pain and the bad news was the sole of my right foot started to hurt which it had never done before.

Eventually, after 2 years of faffing about, I was referred on the NHS to Orthotics to have a pair of custom insoles made.  I waited 8 weeks for an appointment, then 6 months for the insoles to arrive:

Picture of an orthotic custom made insoleI asked them for the softest ones available, as my skin rubs off at the slightest pressure, and they are very comfortable to wear.  They helped my knee and hip pain immediately.  Sadly they also caused awful SI pain and the pain on the sole of my right foot got so bad I could barely walk on it especially for the first hour in a morning.  The sole of my left foot also became painful.

However, I had to wait nearly 2 months for another Orthotic appointment to see about the new insoles.  He is going to try shaving a bit off the underside and will take some off the heel to hopefully help the SI pain.

As with all things EDS, I seem to cure one problem only to create another in the process.  It’s infuriating!  I know that if I got the right insoles it would help my back and leg pain, but not at the expense of crippling my feet :-/  And should it really have taken 3 years to get to this point?!  This is why I often do absolutely nothing about my symptoms and just live with them – it’s less stressful than actually getting them treated.

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10 thoughts on “Insoles update

  1. Zhaan

    Years ago I was prescribed custom made orthodics due to chronic plantar fasciitis which is common with EDS. I wore them as instructed and over time developed arch pain that eventually became unbearable. They put me in a brace, tried all different custom insoles, etc. Nothing worked. I finally decided on my own to go the other extreme. I got zero drop shoes that have minimal arch support and allow my foot to hit the ground as it would barefoot but with the support of a shoe. My arch pain remained but was tolerable and has stayed that way and I’ve not gotten plantar faciitis again either. Just like you though my feet collapse, turning my ankles & knees in and putting my hips at a less than ideal angle. I’m sure all of that is very, very bad, but I have no choice because I can’t walk with the extreme arch pain any insert or high arch shoe seems to cause. I understand your frustration!

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    1. Jak Post author

      At least I’m not alone Zhaan. I read forums where people get their symptoms sorted so easily and that just never happens for me 😦 Jak x

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  2. That Other Jean

    Oh, THAT’s what is causing the SI joint pain! Thank you! One more piece of the never-ending puzzle that is Ehlers-Danlos, and one more painful spot that is explicable, but not avoidable. And so it goes.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Foot arches are definitely one possibility for the SI pain Jean, though like most things EDS it could be any number of issues. Jak x

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  3. Elizabeth Milo

    So, what kind of shoes do you wear? And do you wear them around the house? And how do you know you have high arches that collapse? I know nothing about my feet and spend my life in slippers!

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    1. Jak Post author

      I know about my collapsed arches because the Podiatrist told me (though I suspected as much from reaching info on EDS forums). I asked for a referal to a Podiatrist after getting awful hip and knee pain and reading that my ‘knock knees’ could be due to flat feet.

      I wear normal shoes, but they have to be a wide fitting to get my insoles in. They are all supportive though and I spend most of my life in Doc Martin style ankle boots, even with dresses in summer, which have a small heel, good sole grip, cover my ankles to support them and are lace up so I can tie them tightly.

      In the house I wear little boot slippers with my insoles in.

      Despite my best efforts and not wearing high heels for years I still have bad bunions on both feet though and getting insoles which help everything and don’t make one thing better only to make something else worse is proving to be impossible 😦

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  4. The Phoenix

    Do you know if any of the pain could be from your muscles needing to adjust? Orthotics can really change which muscles you use to walk. I end up getting mine adjusted about every 6 months because when I make more progress with physical therapy that changes what I need. And I always forget that I’m not supposed to wear them for more than a few hours a day when I first get them adjusted so that my muscles can get used to it.

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