I met Rachel, the pedorthist behind Soleful Orthotics Solutions, when she came to speak to the Women's Training Program. It was a couple of weeks before my first podiatrist appointment. She came back every week to run with WTP. She listened to my hallux rigidus saga and gave me suggestions for toe-friendly shoes for work.
When I was having trouble adjusting to my first pair of orthotics, she ran with me and gave me some helpful guidance. Now that my second pair of orthotics was still not hitting the mark, it was time for a formal consult.
For the consult, Rachel:
- came to my house
- reviewed my foot history
- looked at all of my shoes
- took a video of me walking barefoot on the treadmill
- took photos of my feet on various corrective devices
A typical next step would be for Rachel to make custom orthotics for me. Since I already had $600 invested in the orthotics from the podiatrist, however, our next step was a detailed write-up of recommendations for altering my existing orthotics that I could give to my podiatrist.
She also sent the marked-up pictures of my feet for me to give to him:
- Upper left photo: Standing on my custom orthotics. Note the pronation and suggestion for medial posting.
- Upper right photo: Standing on Green SuperFeet. The pronation is improved, but not completely.
- Lower photos: show details about the medial posting correction and adding a morton's extension under my big toes to limit movement.
Back to the Podiatrist
I went back to my doctor with Rachel's written notes and photos, and we discussed making the modifications to my orthotics. He cautioned me that the morton's extension is rigid and could limit my activity (i.e., running), which is why he hadn't gone in that direction initially. I checked with Rachel and she said that the extension should be semi-rigid, "made out of 40-50 durometer foam rather than plastic or carbon fiber."
My doctor was receptive to the changes. Now my orthotics are going back to the lab where medial posting and a semi-rigid morton's extension will be added, and the dancers' pads will be removed. I am hoping that the third time is the charm for these orthotics.