My name is Steve Proctor and I’m a retired road safety engineer who likes to cycle and walk for leisure and exercise. Over the past few years I’ve suffered from an acute pain across the balls of my feet once I’ve cycled over 25 miles or walked for 5 or so. The pain feels like a very harsh cramp and can only be relieved by stopping, removing my shoes and flexing my feet for several minutes. The pain would then return later in the walk / ride. This was quite debilitating and a massive disincentive to doing exercise, and certainly robbed me of much of the enjoyment to be gained from cycling and walking.
Around 2 years ago I started to visit a local podiatry practice and initially had some foot massage together with an exercise routine to try to tackle the problem. Whilst this may have had some marginal benefit, it was to be honest difficult to discern, so ultimately I was referred to Lara who suggested that I should try orthotics – robust shoe insoles specifically designed for the individual shape of my feet. Lara explained that over time these insoles (together with exercises) should help to relieve the pain. The process was very meticulous – lots of measurements, photos, and videos of me walking, so that the insoles could be precisely constructed to my unique requirements.
Lara advised that I should wear them all the time where possible, and I do that for all normal daily use. I don’t wear them in my walking boots, and only occasionally use them in my cycling shoes. The initial sensation when I put them in my shoes felt odd – like walking on an uneven surface, and also gave me minor aches in my calves/ ankles (Lara advised that this could happen and not to be unduly concerned). However those sensations soon disappeared and after a couple of weeks I didn’t notice I had them.
The objective was that I could cycle and walk long distance pain free. I have now had the orthotic insoles for around 6 months and in the past 3 months I can honestly say that the improvement is fantastic. I occasionally have the odd twinge –this might be at night before sleeping – very rarely when exercising. This is a tremendous difference form a year ago and makes cycling and walking a pleasure again when it had become so painful that I occasionally wondered whether I would have to quit. What I would say though is that I needed to persist – the improvement wasn’t instant, and in the first couple of months of use I had to trust that things would come good – and they did!
Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Lara for her friendly and thoroughly professional approach. She was very good both in terms of diagnosis and prescribing a solution that worked for me. On that basis I would have no hesitation in recommending Lara to potential clients who want to see an improvement in any painful and debilitating foot condition.