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:
They 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:
I 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.