Orthotics: How can they help your foot, back, and/or knee pain?

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 31 Mar, 2017
  • 25 Jan, 2016

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We live in a society where we are constantly on our feet in our daily busy lives. Many of us are unknowingly wearing improper footwear or putting improper pressure on our feet due to bad posture. The way in which you walk also affects the degree of pressure on your knees and back. Hence, foot, back and knee pain are common ailments of the 21st century. Fortunately, orthotics can help you relieve the symptoms of such pain!  

What can orthotics help with?

Orthotics can help many foot complaints such as bunions, corns and calluses, and heel pain. Furthermore, as our feet are the foundation of our body, they will also provide relief for back, hip, and knee pain.   Orthotics adjust your bodies movement pattern to ease the strain through the joints and muscles of your body; restoring balance.

What are orthotics?

Functional foot orthotics are made on a custom basis according to your unique foot structure and biomechanics. Orthotics can vary in rigidity from very firm to soft depending upon your individual needs. Modifications made to the orthotic cast help to realign the rearfoot and the forefoot, whilst rearfoot posting helps to align the rearfoot and the leg and reduce compensation by modifying the angle at which the foot strikes the ground, thus improving posture and the alignment of the whole body and reducing tissue and joint stress. Additional accommodations such as special pads can also be applied to offload painful areas such as corns and redistribute pressure.

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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