Case Study: Sports injury affects sales pro’s health and career


Joe is a salesman who is in his mid-forties. On evenings and weekends he is an avid runner. Lately, Joe has been suffering from recurring ankle sprains and knee pain. Not only is the pain affecting his ability to run, he is also having pain throughout his day at work.
Joe takes a few days off from his evening run around the park. After resting his injuries for the better part of a week, he begins to feel better and decides to give running another try. He proceeds with his usual routine of stretching in preparation for his run, this time paying close attention to limbering up his ankles. Within minutes of his run, however, the pain returns. Frustrated and unwilling to relinquish the health and fitness he’s been enjoying from his exercise, Joe schedules an appointment with a therapist at a sports medicine clinic.
Upon examination, the therapist notices that Joe’s feet have very high arches. He asks Joe to run for a while on the treadmill where he notices that Joes ankles tend to roll outwardly, or supinate, excessively as his heels lift off the platform. The lack of stability in his ankles causes Joe a great deal of muscle and tendon strain. Furthermore, the therapist notices that Joe doesn’t have much padding on the bottoms of his feet. Without a fleshy heel pad, Joe lacks a natural source of shock absorption and is subjecting his joints to injury.
The therapist prescribes and fits Joe with a sports orthotic, rigid enough to support his high arches yet forgiving enough to allow for some flexibility in his gait. He prescribes with it a Vylite arch fill and Spenco top-cover, both with shock absorbing qualities that provide additional protection during high-impact sports. The therapist recommends that Joe wear his orthotics both on the job and while running. Within a few weeks of wearing the orthotics, Joe begins to feel better. His pain has subsided and he is able once again to enjoy good health and endurance.
Test your knowledge
1) What are three ways that foot care professionals use to fit people for orthotics?

2) Which of the three orthotics-fitting methods is the most accurate?

3) Which of the three orthotics-fitting methods are deemed acceptable by the Prescription Foot Orthotic Laboratory Association?
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Download North Star Podiatric Lab orthotics poster, picturing the full line of orthotics in one colorful, easy-to-read document. Each device is organized by function and includes a complete description of its composition and suitability.

Questions? We are here to help!
North Star Podiatric Lab has on staff certified pedorthists who are available most business hours to answer questions from our clients who include podiatrists, therapist and doctors of sports medicine. As a manufacturer of foot orthotics for more than 30 years, our staff is a valuable resource for foot-care practitioners. Feel free to contact us by phone, 651-426-9388, or via email, rx@northstarlab, with your question or concern regarding the design and prescription of a foot orthotic.

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