Re-Learn to Walk
I was very flat-footed and loved running. My legs were not happy. I had suffered shin pain, calf pain, ankle instability, foot pain. A doctor suggested I get some orthotics, but at $400 a pair I wasn't rushing out to get them.
I tried some cheaper half orthotics which just transferred my weight onto the outside of my foot. This caused more shin pain and a lot of blisters on the arch of my foot. I did persevere with them and they got a little softer but were never comfortable.
A few years ago I attended a workshop on ankle and foot pain. I was only doing it in order to gain some needed continuing education points as a requirement to remain with my myotherapy association. The presenter was a physiotherapist named Phillip Brownrigg. I learned a lot.
He talked sense. He started off by telling us of how he used to make and sell orthotics, lots of them. That was until he realised that they weren't necessary. My thoughts exactly. I always thought it was unnatural for people to be reliant on these things. Now someone who was an expert in that field confirmed it.
Phillip went on to say that people are born knowing how to walk correctly. They just learn to walk incorrectly by watching others (parents, siblings). Incorrect walking results in back, hip, leg, ankle and foot pain. Phillip now teaches people how to walk correctly.
The correct way of walking is as follows:
1) Heel hits the ground
2) Roll along the outside of your foot to the ball of your little toe
3) Roll along the balls of your toes to the ball of the big toe then push off.
Easy as that.
Most of us will be walking on the outside or the inside of our feet which puts unnecessary strain on different parts of our body. Just take a look at the bottom of the shoes you wear the most and see where it is worn out the most. That is where all your weight is going. If your shoes are worn out evenly, then you are walking correctly.
Only a short while later of practising the correct way of walking, I threw out my half orthotics. I have not suffered my normal leg pains. I enjoyed running more.
Years later I am still walking correctly. It's quite natural now. I have even developed a nice little arch in both feet! I advise a lot of clients on how to walk correctly as part of my treatment. Those that listen do feel the benefits.