Docpods Orthotics Foot Pain Blog

Docpods Orthotics Foot Pain Blog

Keep up to date with the latest foot pain and orthotic insole news. Docpods foot pain blog will help you to understand what is causing your foot pain and what you can do to treat your foot pain.

Ingrown nails from running

Docpods Support - Tuesday, May 23, 2017

People often present to our clinic with ingrown nails shortly after they’ve increased their training or purchased new shoes to train for long distance events such as a half marathon, 10K, or a marathon. The cause of ingrown nails when running is multifaceted and can be from a number of causes.

One of the major causes of ingrown nails when running is maceration or the skin wetting wet around the nail and then extra pressure from the shoe causes the nail to dig into the surrounding skin. Unfortunately, when the skin has been broken, the nail doesn’t actually become removed from the skin and it acts like a firm body and a portal for infection for bacteria and germs to enter the body and then often it becomes infected.

Running shoes that are improperly fitted are also a problem with ingrown nail. If there’s too much pressure side to side on the nail, it causes the nail to dig into the tissue surrounding it and then causing an infection, and also, if the running shoes are too short, the toenail will bump into the end of the shoe, and this can either lift the nail or it can pop the nail off where it grows from on the distal phalanx of the toe.

So a correctly fitted running shoe is important when you increase your training, and also, you need to look at the top of socks you’re wearing to help to keep your foot dry when running as this will prevent any maceration surrounding the toes and ingrown toenails. Socks that help to wick the sweat away from the foot and store it away from the foot are the best types of socks to keep your foot dry during running.

Are flip flops or thongs okay to wear

Docpods Support - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Flip flops and thongs are very popular during the summer months or after work. However, they’re one of the least supportive types of footwear. Wearing non supportive footwear will overload your feet and cause the muscles to become tight and painful, and also, it may lead to over wear in the joints, tendons, and ligaments in your feet.

When wearing flip flops or thongs, it is very important to consider what type of activity you’ll be participating in. For example, you wouldn’t put your flip flops on to go for a run, as you know. They’re not very supportive and you need to wear a supportive shoe when you’re running. However, flip flops are fine for wearing for short trips when you’re not going to be standing on your feet for extended periods of time and when you’re not going to be doing high mileage in walking.

Why do my toes crossover and what is crossover toe

Docpods Support - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Crossover toe is characterized by the second toe riding up and over the first toe. This usually occurs in conjunction with a bunion or an HAV deformity and what happens is the plantar aspect of the joint of the second toe, so the plantar plate, becomes irritated and painful.

Eventually, if this irritation is not addressed, the ligament on the plantar aspect of the second toe ruptures and allows the toe to drift up and over the first toe. Commonly this is called crossover toe, however, you may see it as a toe that is retracted or pulled up towards the top of the foot in its early stages.

Once the toe has started to drift or move, it is very difficult to treat this conservatively and surgery may be the only option.

When should I wear my orthotics

Docpods Support - Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Functional foot orthotics are designed to control your foot motions when you are walking or running. If you’re not weight baring on your feet, you’ll be getting no benefit from your orthotics so it’s no point wearing your orthotics when you’re sitting on the couch.

When you’re doing long hours on your feet, such as at a trade show or a home show or boat show, your orthotics will help by supporting your feet for the entire day, also when you’re doing long mileage such as walking to and from school or PE at school or walking around an exhibition, your orthotics will also support your feet during the entire day.

So it’s important to wear your orthotics when you’re on your feet for extended periods or when you’re walking long distances. Orthotics also work best when they’re paired with a supportive shoe that’s been fitted correctly.

What causes stress fractures

Docpods Support - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We’re all familiar that if we damage our bone with one large trauma such as, to put it very crudely, hitting it with a hammer that we’ll get a fracture. However, what most people don’t realize is that bone is also susceptible to stress fractures from repetitive micro traumas.

Now what this means is say for example you’re a runner and you’re conditioned to running five kilometers three times a week. If you increase your training to 10 kilometers three times a week over night, this will strain the bone more than what it’s used to receiving and cause micro traumas on the bone. So every footstep, if you think of this like a very tiny little hammer hit or a little trauma to the bone, will add up to have the very similar effect and very similar pain to what one large trauma would have on the bone.

Any excessive movement that causes the muscles to contract harder than usual or excessive training is the major cause of stress fractures in the foot. It’s recommended that you never double your training overnight and that you slowly increase your training, particularly in those sports that are repetitive in nature, such as running.

To help to limit the chance of a stress fracture, it’s suggested that a good warm-up, stretching the calves and the entire lower limb, good footwear with a soft supportive orthotic such as a docpods Ultra Soft will help to limit over pronation and excessive loads on the feet and lower limbs, and also never increase your training too quickly.

What causes pain in the ball of the foot

Docpods Support - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

There are a number of things that can cause pain in the ball of the foot and the major three that we see in our clinic are Morton’s neuroma, plantar plate or plantar ligament irritation, or just general muscle tightness and stiffness causing burning in the ball of the foot. All three of these problems come from a similar origin and it seems to be the weakest component in the forefoot or the ball of the foot is the first thing to break down. So you’ll either get a combination of Morton’s neuroma and plantar muscle tightness or a plantar plate rupture or plantar plate irritation in a Morton’s neuroma, but they’re generally caused by the same thing.

Overuse of the forefoot is generally what causes the irritation of the plantar plate, irritation of the interdigital nerves, and also overuse of the muscle. So you can overuse the forefoot. You can overuse the forefoot by misuse so if your foot rolls in too much and causes excessive strain on the joints and ligaments of the forefoot, this will also overload the muscles as they try and contract to control the foot and keep it in a normal position. This will tighten the muscles in the forefoot and also cause a burning type sensation. It will put excessive pressure on the interdigital nerves which can cause a Morton’s neuroma and it will also cause excessive pressure on the plantar plate or the plantar ligaments of the metatarsal phalangeal joints. This is a very common scenario where the foot rolls in, the muscles over contract and cause muscle tightness and excessive pressure on the plantar plate which increases the pressure on the interdigital nerves of the forefoot, the end result being a painful and often sometimes numb and tingling forefoot with some burning on the plantar aspect.

To help to treat the plantar plate irritation, the Morton’s neuroma irritation, and also the muscle tightness, an orthotic will help to limit the excessive movements in the foot and it will reduce the stress and strain on the muscles and rest the forefoot. Loosening of the muscles using a golf ball to massage the plantar aspect of the foot will also help to relieve the muscle tightness in the foot. Off-the-shelf orthotics such as the docpods Ultra Soft are perfect for plantar forefoot pain and if you are still experiencing problems or you think you might have another form of plantar forefoot pain, please see your podiatrist to have it assessed correctly.

What Causes Corns and Callous

Docpods Support - Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Corns and callouses are the hardened sections of skin that can often cause pain due to feeling like a hard stony lump. Corns and callouses are causes by excessive pressure on the skin causing the skin to harden and thicken to protect itself. The problem with this is that the hardened, thickened skin causes more pressure which causes more hardened, thickened skin which causes more pressure which causes more hardened, thickened skin, and so the saga keeps repeating until the calloused or the hardened skin section becomes so hard in the section it has a defined nucleus or center to it, and it’s called a corn. Corns often feel like a stone or a lump of gravel in your shoe and they need to be removed professionally by your podiatrists.

You can help to prevent corns and callouses by wearing shoes and insoles that create a uniform pressure on the sole of your foot, such as the Docpocs Ultra Soft paired with a good running shoe. You can also moisturize your skin which helps to reduce the hardness and the dryness of the skin which can help to reduce corns and callouses and you can also see your podiatrist to have them trimmed and cleared out. This is often a painless procedure. However, the corns and the callouses will grow back if the pressure is not removed from the area.

What Causes Bunions

Docpods Support - Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Bunions are a common problem suffered by women more than men and they can be very painful and unsightly. So a bunion is the bony lump that projects off the inside of the joint behind your large toe. Now the bump that projects off the inside of the large toe is the result of the problem causing the bunion so the bump on the inside is generally a large bony lump and this grows when extra pressure is placed on the bone and it causes it to grow in reaction to the extra pressure.

So the cause of the extra pressure is generally a cross threading or a misuse of the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, or the joint just behind the big toe, and this is usually over – pressure is usually created on this joint from the foot rolling in too much. So what happens is the first toe gets twisted as the foot rolls in, more pressure is created on the joint just behind the big toe, and then the bony growth develops as the bone’s reaction to excessive pressure is to grow and protect itself.

So in short, a bunion is formed when the foot rolls in too much and creates excessive pressure on the joint just behind the first toe. This pressure can be limited by controlling over pronation and strengthening the foot. Over pronation can be controlled by the use of an orthotic, either off-the-shelf or custom made, off-the-shelf orthotics such as docpods or a custom made orthotic where you get made with your podiatrist, good footwear that doesn’t constrict the foot and also supports the foot, and also muscle stretching and strengthening exercises of the calf and foot will help to prevent and limit the progression of a bunion.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of your bunions or you think you might need treatment, please contact your podiatrist or try a set of the docpods orthotics in your existing shoes to see if you can get some relief for your bunion pain.

Stretching and warm-up to prevent injury

Docpods Support - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A majority of foot pains are caused by overuse and muscle tightness so it makes sense that before running, a good warm-up routine and a stretching and strengthening routine will help to prevent injuries or pains in the feet. A good warm-up routine for running to prevent foot injury would consist of calf stretching, soleus stretching, calf rises to help to get the blood into the calves and to warm them up.

When the muscles are warm, they’re more receptive to a stretch and you end up stretching the muscular component rather than the tight watery component of the muscle. A lot of the mechanical pains in the feet are caused by overuse or excessive movements. When the calf muscle is tight, it forces the foot into over pronation. Over pronation causes a majority of the foot pain such as heel pain, arch pain, metatarsal stress fracture, Morton’s neuromas, shin splints, and medial knee pain. So it’s very important that you do a thorough warm-up and stretching routine before you run when you’re considering your foot health.

How to wear in orthotics

Docpods Support - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When you first receive your orthotics, it’s best that you follow a simple regime of wearing your orthotics in so that you experience less discomfort and less irritation from your orthotics.

The problems experienced by most people when they wear orthotics for the first time is that their arch is never used to contacting the ground so what the orthotic does is brings the ground up to meet the person’s arch of the foot so the skin in the arch is generally very soft and supple as it doesn’t take any weight during normal walking so when we bring the orthotic into contact with the arch, it takes a little time for the skin of the arch to thicken and become tough and be able to tolerate the pressure from the orthotic.

So what we recommend when wearing orthotics for the first time is on the first day you wear them for an hour, on the second day you wear them for two hours, on the third day you wear them for three hours, and keep adding an hour on every day. Generally, orthotics will be uncomfortable and feel a bit strange for the first four days, by a week they’ll be okay but still not perfect, and then by two weeks they should be absolutely perfect in the shoe.

If they’re not fitting perfectly and absolutely comfortable then we need to adjust something, either check the fit in the shoe, remove the liner from the shoe, or have a look at some stretching or strengthening exercises for your feet.






1. Measure your existing shoe insole:

 1. Measure from your heel to ball of foot:


2. Then compare your measurements from above to match the product size charts below:
(you can trim to fit the insoles by approximately 1cm)

Docpods Regular Size Guide - for Slimline, 3 Quarter, Sports

Size  cm cm cm
Small  4-7  4-8  3-6.5  4-7.5  35-40 16  16.3  25.8
Medium  7-9   8-10  6-9  7-10  39-43  17.4 17.2  27.4
Large   9-13  10-14  8-12  9-13  42-47 19.3   18.2 29.4

Docpods Ultra Size Guide - for Ultra Soft

EURO  34  35.5-37.5  38-40  40.5-42  42.5-44  44.5-46.5
UK  2.5  3-4.5  5-6.5  7-8  8.5-9.5  10-12
US MENS  4-5  5.5-6  6.5-7.5  8-9  9.5-10.5  11-13.5
US WOMENS  3.5-5  5.5-7  7.5-9  9.5-10.5  11-12  13-14
LENGTH (cm) 23.2cm 24.9cm 26.2cm 28.8cm 30cm  31.2cm

Docpods Kids Size Guide - for Docpods Kids Fit only

XXS 12-1  19.5cm 13cm 
XS 2-3 22.4cm  15.3cm 

Docpods Foot Pillow - Trim to Fit

  S L
US MENS  4.5 - 9  9 - 13
US WOMENS  6 - 10  10 - 14
LENGTH (cm) 26.5cm 29.2cm

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