Sports Podiatry

A musculoskeletal (MSK) or sports Podiatrist focuses on how the lower limb functions in both day to day activities and in sport.   MSK podiatry is not just for sports men or women and is appropriate for all levels of activity and age.  A sports podiatrist will most often be consulted when pain occurs anywhere from the Hip to the foot, since hip pain and discomfort can sometimes be related to problems anywhere below it, including the foot.

An MSK Podiatric consultation involves a detailed case history and assessment of the lower limb, hips and pelvis, most often including a detailed video gait analysis whereupon you will be filmed whilst walking and running on a treadmill.  In addition to this we also offer dynamic pressure mat analysis, which enables a more precise understanding of the mechanics of your feet. The outcome of the assessment may result in the prescription of specialised insoles called orthotics although this is by no means the only outcome.  In many cases ongoing foot,ankle, knee or hip pain and dysfunction may be tackled by a program of strengthening and stretching the muscles of the leg.

Below are a number of FAQ’s relating to sports podiatry.

What do I need to bring with me to my consultation?

Since we will be gaining an understanding of how your feet and the lower limb works you will be required to wear shorts whilst we assess you.  It is also advisable to bring a variety of footwear with you, including the shoes that you do your sport(s) in, a casual shoe and a work shoe.  Normally you will be emailed the paperwork required for our consultation prior to your appointment.

I have been told that I over pronate. Do I need orthotics?

No. To begin with the term ‘over pronation’ is not correct and does not exist, when people normally refer to the term ‘over pronation’ they mean their feet roll in from a joint in the foot called the sub-talar joint.  One of the issues is that we do not know the ‘normal’ range of motion of the sub-talar joint , so how  can it be ‘over-pronating’?  With regards to orthoses (insoles) and pronation, there is no evidence to say that pronation causing injuries.

Once I wear orthotics will I need them forever?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question, it is important to remember orthoses are used for many different reasons. They can we used as part of a rehabilitation programme then once the programme has been completed they can be removed. They can be used just for certain sports, remember orthoses you have for walking will not always work for your sports, as the lower limb has different forces exposed to it and the lower limb is functioning in a different way so you are asking the orthoses to do different things. To try and put it into perspective if you wear glasses , you have different glasses for reading and driving as what you are asking the eyes to do if different. The foot and lower limb is exactly the same.

Will orthotics work in any shoes including high heels?

Some orthoses can fit into shoes with up to a 3 inch heel; however the orthoses will work best in a sensible shoe, remember orthoses only work as well as the shoes they are in.

I have pain in my heel why do I need to stretch my calf muscles?

The calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus) turn in to the Achilles tendon which goes into the plantar fascia, so technically it is all one structure, so stretching the calf muscles will have an effect on the plantar fascia.  A condition called Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain.

When is a good time to buy trainers to run a marathon in?

It is extremely important to break your new trainers in slowly before doing any long distance runs. Never buy new trainers just a couple of weeks before your marathon or any distance running event. There is no set time when to buy new trainers , however it is probably sensible to buy your new trainers at least 6 weeks before the event to allow yourself to break them in gradually with your training.

Insoles really help me. What can I do in the Summer?

We are able to offer fully bespoke sandals and flip flops, so your orthoses prescription is pre-built into a sandal customised for you. Also more and more companies now offer sandals with a removable foot bed to help with the use of orthoses.