Feet First

Sore feet!
It’s not the most sympathy-evoking injury to have as a runner/triathlete. Why could I not have something with a fancy name or an injury that other athletes wanted to give you all their thoughts and advice on! But no, I’ve got sore feet.

I’ve had copious investigations to find the reason; X-Rays, ultrasound scans, and more podiatry and chiropodist appointments than you can shake a stick at, but all to no avail. The pain is even there when I’m sat at my desk, so there’s not a chance that I’m letting it stop my training.

I’d seen a number of posts on Facebook about a podiatrist, biomechanics & orthotics service supporting an athlete who sometimes trained with my son, and I’d considered getting a fifteenth opinion on my troublesome trotters, when in the Triathlon Club presentation night raffle there on offer was a voucher for said service. It was snatched off the table in double quick time and an appointment booked for the next available clinic.

I arrived with no expectations for a result but how wrong could I be. From the first moment I knew that Lindsay (Dr Lindsay Hill) understood feet, and being a runner herself knew exactly how miserable ‘sore feet’ can be.

She specialises in ‘treating sports injuries with the prescribing of othoses (insoles made specifically for your feet), using a Gaitscan for diagnosis and prescription design’. The Gaitscan was a large plate, attached to a computer that I walked across a number of times. This then produced an image of how my foot hit the floor, identifying to Lindsay what was causing my pain. It was quite an emotional process, that someone was not only sympathetic but felt they could do something to help.

Photo courtesy of Axis Podiatry
Lindsay then gave me advice on new running shoes, using all the information she’d compiled during the session and off I went with the make and model of shoes she felt would help.

Tonight was the first outing for the new shoes, (which I have to admit look very strange with being not only longer but considerably wider than my previous shoes), at a track session with the Tri Club and what a revelation they were. Not only extremely comfortable and cushioned whilst running, but the usual after-run pain did not materialise; more my feet felt relaxed and soothed.

I’ve not managed to make the leap from my current ‘off the shelf’ orthotics to purchase the custom made ones (having two kids at university makes my sore feet a low financial priority at the present time) but I will definitely be investing. I feel they will not only allow me to run without pain but will keep my feet in good order for the future.

Dr Lindsay Hill can be found at Axis Podiatry, which is conveniently located behind Frederick’s ice cream parlour (it’d be rude not to!) on the A6 in Adlington. http://www.axis-podiatry.co.uk