A huge cost can come with paying for custom orthotics. Even new insoles can increase your shopping spree by $200! Companies that make these insoles or orthotics like to show that they improve performance, decrease injury, and make you the best athlete ever.
Injury rates among runners are very high, and many runners try anything to stay healthy. However, there may be a cheaper, more effective tool to manage injuries.
Better than Orthotics?
I’m not talking about a shoe. Not at all. But sometimes, shoes can play a role in running gait and preventing pain. For example, someone experiencing pain near the balls of the feet can benefit from a stiffer shoe that extends the lever used for push-off. This means that the foot is no longer putting as much force near the metatarsal heads, but more towards the toes as it leaves the ground. But this can come at a cost.
A stiffer shoe means a longer lever on the heel rocker, which can cause really sore pre-tibials (the muscles on the front of your shin), and possibly the dreaded shin splints.
So what am I talking about that can help? It’s tape. I’m not talking about the immaculate tape jobs done for football or basketball athletes that create a thick cast around the ankle. I’m talking about a low-dye, modified low-dye, or reverse-6.
Taping > Orthotics
Depending on your diagnosis, these can dramatically reduce pain and improve gait when compared to orthotics. They’re almost like a band-aid that protects the injured foot while healing.
We often use a modified low-dye for patients with plantar heel pain and arch pain. We consider using a reverse-6 to help runners with Achilles pain so they can keep running.
Studies are showing that these types of taping can be effective in reducing load while specific structures heal. We see it in the clinic on a daily basis. It can be an instant game-changer for those struggling with pain while they walk or run, and the tape doesn’t cost $200.
You’ll find that you won’t become reliant on the tape like many runners do with orthotics.
Conclusion on Orthotics
In conclusion, we find the hierarchy of products of effectiveness on gait are as follows:
If you are struggling with foot pain while running or walking, give us a call at 208-740-3232 for a FREE 15-minute phone consultation.