No Walking! …Another Update

There are two previous posts that provide background to this one:

No Walking!

No Walking! …Update

I felt really quite depressed after the last update. I felt that the eight weeks of rest had been pretty much wasted and the foot was no better, despite what the Podiatrist had said. I decided to get a second opinion and this time I wanted a proper biomechanical assessment of the foot. I had an idea this involved cameras and a treadmill and some gait analysis, but it doesn’t – at least not in the mind of the Podiatrist I selected in Warrington.

He fettled with the foot, used his hands to understand how the foot worked, looked at my lower legs and thighs and came to the conclusion that I had one leg slightly longer than the other (by about 5-7mm) and that the tibias in both legs (shin bones to you and me) were slightly curved. This resulted in, or was contributory to, a slight overpronation when i walked. This basically means that I twist my feet slightly every time they hit the floor.

Over years and heavy use this can lead to the sort of problems I’ve been having with my feet – apparently. I still wasn’t convinced, I must admit. I’ve been walking on these feet for 49 years – hill walking properly for almost 10, so why was this happening now – and why in only one foot. The guy explained that too – cumulative effects over time result in damage and my two feet are different, so why would both be affected at the same time? He recommended some Orthotics, which I duly ordered. The overall cost of the consultation and the insoles came to £75 – which I’m hardly in a position to afford at the moment, but I thought if they fix the problem it will be money well spent.

In the meantime I have been hillwalking again. I’ve done every Saturday for the last 3 weeks now and one or two walks in between. The longest and most strenuous was walking from Edale to Hadfield – about 19 miles along the Pennine Way, with Chris Pilgrim (@PilgrimChris) and Dean Read (@dean_read), who are doing the whole walk. The foot was a bit twingey at the start of the day, but by the end it felt fine.

Snow drifts in Devil's Dike, on the Pennine Way
Snow drifts in Devil’s Dike, on the Pennine Way

Today it feels like it did before this problem began! It feels like I’ve got a new foot back. I’m not sure how this has come about – seeing as I’ve not even tried the orthotics yet – I only picked them up yesterday. But the foot feels fine – I’m incredibly happy, relieved and really looking forward to the Southern Upland Way now!

Perhaps all I needed was a little patience – here’s hoping this in an end to the problems, but if not I have the orthotics to fall back on.

6 thoughts on “No Walking! …Another Update”

  1. I swear by Sole Orthotics, which provide needed support for the arches in my feet (I have high arches). Don’t know if Sole Orthotics are available in the UK, but they are available from REI in the US. Like you, I never had any leg or foot problems til I reached my late 40s, so now I wear Sole Orthotics in all of my shoes and I do special leg exercises at the gym to keep the muscles in my legs and feet strong. Apparently I got by without any of these things when I was younger.

  2. I’m really happy for you Stuart, that sounds great. I keep my fingers crossed, that it will stay this way!!! Perhaps it just needed a little time – unfortunately I’m not a very patient person – you are doing a much better job there. So wohoooo and raising a glass of wine and toasting to you 🙂

  3. Hope all ok, I have to wear Superfeet insoles due to flat feet, these problems creep up as we get older 🙁

    1. I definitely feel old-age creeping up on me – that was one of the reasons why I brought my plans to walk LEJOG forward. It’s my knees more than anything, but the foot was a worry too.

      I’ve used Superfeet (just the basic green ones) since my earliest pair of boots, but they don’t leave me enough room in my current Salomon Comet 3D so I had to remove them – I do miss them though – the basic insoles in boots just don’t seem to stand up to the wear and tear of prolonged use and my feet certainly feel more tired after a long day.

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