How to stay in the game with no knee pain!

Soles in Motion is all about keeping you in the game, active and pain-free. We offer solutions by giving you the information to make the right decision.

If your knee pain is distracting you during or after the game, you need to know why. It could be Patella Femoral Syndrome, sometimes referred to as Runners Knee. PFPS is one of the most common of all knee injuries in active people. The knee is a complex joint that not only bends and straightens but also twists and rotates. The knee is not a simple ball-and-socket joint, like the hip. It depends heavily on the soft tissues that surround it, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments because it is a weight-bearing joint that is subjected to many different types of motion.

People with patella femoral knee syndrome (PFPS) usually have pain in the front of the knee, around or beneath the kneecap. Patients may have difficulty going up or downstairs. Also, after remaining seated for a prolonged time, they may experience extreme discomfort with their first few steps after rising. You may also complain of joint locking or the feeling of joint instability. Quadriceps strengthening is recommended as these muscles play a significant role in the patellar movement. Hip, hamstring, calf and iliotibial band (IT band) stretching may also be important. Custom orthotics can be helpful in patients with a wide variety of lower extremity complaints, including patellofemoral pain. Bracing can also be an effective conservative treatment for decreasing the symptoms. Braces for patella femoral syndrome help to reduce pain resulting from maltracking or patella instability. However, there are many, many types of braces for PFPS, what your friend wears and works for them may not work for you. Seeing one of our professionals that researches your activity level, pain history and recommends braces for you to try on is the best solution.

Another common condition that affects many people is osteoarthritis of the knee. Knee osteoarthritis (OA), is typically the result of wear and tear and progressive loss of articular cartilage. You will probably feel your knee is painful and stiff at times. It may only affect one side of the knee. The pain may feel worse at the end of the day, or when you move your knee, and it may improve when you rest.

Also, as part of our commitment to the treatment of OA, Soles in Motion is offering a no-risk 30 day trial on our Osteoarthritis Unloader Knee Braces. By unloading the affected compartment of the knee, the unloader brace offers people with knee OA a safe, proven, low-risk treatment that will reduce your pain and improve your mobility. We have seen results and are confident you will be able to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Soles in Motion encourages you to come in and talk to us, let us assess your gait and the footwear you are wearing, these too may be contributing to your pain. We are here to help and keep you moving no matter what your abilities!

Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Dr. Dartmouth 902-468-7911
Give us a call and book a free, no-obligation appointment with one of our professionals to see how we can help you!

– Submitted by Jen Estabrooks

Elbow Pain – Tis the Season – Golf, Baseball, Tennis, Pickle ball

Medial epicondylitis (Inside of the elbow) commonly known as golfer’s elbow is caused by the repeated movement of the palm toward the forearm applying a strain on the inner tendons and muscles attached to the inner part of the elbow bones (wrist flexors), causing pain. If the flexors are overused, it causes inflammation. Although called golfers elbow, medial epicondylitis is however not confined to golfers. Actually, a lot of people suffer from it without ever playing golf. It is common among people over using their arm doing different activities, such as painting, typing, picking something or even by opening a jar. Tennis elbow or latera epicondylitis is similar but effect the outside of the elbow.

Treatment for both should include rest, ice and physiotherapy. Take the pressure off and reduce the pain – wear a support/brace. There are many different types of golfer’s elbow braces available. Counterforce braces are generally straps worn just below the elbow. Another style is a full-elbow compression sleeve, with a strap to tighten around the forearm. The braces help reduce tension on the painful tendons. You can wear the braces either during activities that cause pain, such as golfing or throughout the day.

Another common condition of the elbow is Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs called the bursae that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed. Treatment typically involves resting the affected joint and protecting it from further trauma. In most cases, bursitis pain goes away within a few weeks with proper treatment, but recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are common.

Consider making a no-obligation appointment with one of our Certified Brace Specialists to show you the options available. Our goal is to understand your problem, educate you on non-invasive solutions and come up with a plan that will minimize your pain, maximize your mobility, and provide long-term gain.

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, General Manager, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)

The Customer Experience! You deserve it!

When you walk into a store, somewhere in your mind you are looking for something.  It may not be in the front of your mind but it is there or why would you be there.  The deciding factor will be the experience.   The ultimate customer experience is when you feel welcome, not pressured, but not ignored.

At Soles in Motion, customers come to us for attention, knowledge and specialized service.  We are good listeners and want to take time to identify your needs by asking questions and getting to know you.   Customers don’t just buy products or services; they buy good feelings and want to be part of our community.

Our Soles in Motion Staff love what they do and look for ways to make doing business with us easy.  If you are looking for footwear, we measure your feet, both on our educating scan system and with the Brannock device.  We will also watch your gait (the way you walk) so we can bring out the best footwear suited to your feet. And we love good-looking shoes so we strive to dress up your feet to be noticed, whether it is for running, walking, or shopping!  You deserve the best service no matter where you go but at Soles in Motion, we guarantee it!

BEST OF ALL – YOU CAN FIT YOUR FEET INTO A BURST OF SPRING COLOR!

Visit and spend time with us and enjoy – selecting shoes is an experience that will put you in a better mood this spring.  Seeing all the bright colors and new styles will brighten your day.  Did you know we carry over 200 styles and colors this spring!  It is our largest selection ever!

Nothing will make you feel better than coming into Soles in Motion and seeing our spring collection and talking to our amazing team!  Colors and styles to make your feet happy and make you want to shake off the winter blahs and get moving!   See you soon!

What are you doing to reward your feet after ……..?

After you’ve run, walked, worked out, hiked, played your favorite sport, what do you put on your feet?  Everything starts with your feet – your transport, your moves, and your activity every day!  How do you thank them after you’ve worked them hard?  You put on the oldest; worn-out pair of shoes or slippers you own.  Your feet are tired and sore and deserve a little attention.
Your feet hold your weight, balance, propel you, and absorb shock.  Yes, there they are at the end of your legs stabilizing your every move.  Don’t take them for granted.
Think about it each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and have more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.  The average person walks 180,000 kilometers in a lifetime; the equivalent to walking 5 times around the world.  Your arch bears between 90,000 and 135,000 kilograms of stress.  75% of people experience some type of foot pain.
Your feet are looking for some cushioning and support.  Here are a few brands we carry and why –

  • Aetrex Flips – best indoor slipper with extreme cushioning, shock absorption and durability.  They have an arch support to help stabilize and align the feet and a metatarsal support to help reduce the ball of the foot discomfort
  • OOfus  Sandals – known as the recovery sandal made with OOfoam technology absorbs impact and gives the perfect blend of cushion and stability.  They support the arch to reduce energy exertion in the ankles.
  • Asics, Brooks, New Balance and Saucony are our top athletic brands and all have technology-specific to them for cushioning, support, stability and motion control.  Every style of every brand has unique qualities that are designed to help you perform better and recover faster.

The most important thing is to come in and be measured, let us watch your gait and try on as many styles as you like to see what makes your feet feel amazing.

And just a little more information, we have a 3D scanner named ‘Albert’ that will digitally scan and take pictures of your feet to determine not only the pressure points but the arch length, foot differentiation, instep girth and recommend solutions.  And best of all we have an amazing staff of experienced footwear specialists, two Canadian Certified Pedorthists and two bracing specialists!  Keeping you educated is on us!  

Come on into Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth!

-Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-Owner, Certified Brace Specialist

Don’t Be Down And Out This Winter!

No matter what is going on around us the seasons are still coming.  Winter is here and with it comes slips and falls.  Did you know that over 70% of all fractures in people over the age of 65 are due to falls?  Falls with or without injury carries a heavy impact on your quality of life.  The most profound effect of falling is the loss of independent living.  Therefore, people may stop doing things that have kept them active.  However, staying active needs to overcome your fear of falling again.

Here are a few ways you can improve your confidence:

Move and strengthen – Many falls among seniors are caused by muscle weakness. Exercise is very important.  If you don’t want to participate in a group setting then do it at home.  I met a lovely gentleman last week that had lost a lot of muscle in his upper legs fairly quickly.  After talking to him, we discovered that after moving from his home to an apartment he no longer did stairs multiple times a day or general outdoor activity.  Although a small thing to some, he was doing very little in his new home to keep those muscles strong.

Stabilize your feet – If you are unstable consider your shoes; high heels, floppy slippers, slick soles can make you feel unstable and make you stumble and fall.  Sensible shoes or orthotics will not only make you more stable but may also reduce joint pain.  Make sure you have boots with good traction if you are going outside; otherwise, it is like driving with bald tires!

Stabilize your Knees – Unfortunately, as time goes by your knee joints are the first joints to wear and you may have osteoarthritis or kneecap pain. This causes instability and weakness leading to falling.  Consider a knee brace that will help with the redistribution of forces away from the area of degeneration.

At Soles in Motion, we want to make you happy and pain-free from the feet up.  Did you know we have two Canadian Certified Pedorthists, Graham and Sandra, as well as, Jen and Megan, Bracing Specialists, who would love to see you?  There is no charge for our appointments and we will educate you on how we can help.  We will also introduce you to Albert, our 3D scanner, who will tell you all about your feet and measure your feet to make sure you get the proper shoes.  Drop-in or give us a call – 902-468-7911

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-Owner, Bracing Specialist

Picking Out Proper Running Shoes

There is no single running shoe that is perfect for everyone. What works for cousin Doris may not be suitable for you. Keep in mind everyone’s feet, arches, gait, and running biomechanics are different. Selecting the proper running shoe involves many variables. Some of the things to consider include:

First and Foremost – Determine if you need a NEUTRAL CUSHION running shoe or a STABILITY running shoe. Typically, persons with medium or high arches require a NEUTRAL CUSHION running shoe, and persons with low arches or flat feet require a STABILITY running shoe. Stability running shoes contain technology that is designed to correct overpronation. Overpronation is when you roll too much to the inside of your foot during your foot strike cycle. This normally happens when you have a low arch or flat foot. Have a knowledgeable staff member at a reputable running store determine if you OVER PRONATE.

Second, once you have determined if you need a Neutral Cushion or Stability running shoe then selecting a shoe model comes into play. For simplicity purposes, there are 3 types of running shoes:

  • Traditional Everyday Running Shoes – This is the most common shoe. They offer good cushioning, durability, and are versatile to handle most surfaces (pavement, track, sidewalk, treadmill, hardened trail). They offer good structure under the foot and torsionally they do not twist. As for the DROP (or offset), they are usually between 6mm – 12mm. (The drop refers to how much higher the heel is compared to the forefoot, expressed in millimeters)
  • Lightweight Running Shoes – These are lighter shoes, less cushioning, less durable, and usually less structure under the foot. These are commonly used for speed training and for racing and races. In many cases, they have a lower DROP as well. (i.e. 4mm) Very few Lightweight Shoes come in STABILITY models.
  • Trail Running Shoes – These are best suited for trails and snow/ice. The sole typically features a more aggressive grip with teethier “lugs”. Trail shoes usually are more durable but featureless cushioning than Traditional Everyday running shoes. Very few Trail Shoes come in STABILITY models. Some models feature GORETEX to keep the feet dry.

Third, GET THE RIGHT FIT! A running shoe that doesn’t fit right will not only make your running experience painful, it could also lead to potential injury. Feet tend to spread as you run. They also tend to swell a bit throughout the day, so trying on your shoes in the afternoon or evening may provide a more accurate fit. To accommodate foot spread, there should be roughly one thumb width between the end of your foot and the end of the shoe. The shoe should not pinch or feel sloppy. It should fit comfortably around your foot. Some shoes may better accommodate a narrow or wide foot. Try on numerous models and go with the most comfortable, regardless of color or looks.

The Rise of Plantar Fasciitis– Everyone’s got it…but why?

As a Pedorthic clinic as well as a destination store for comfortable footwear, orthopedic shoes and high-end running footwear we see all kind of foot pain at Soles in Motion. Lately, though it seems we’re seeing one problem more and more, and that is plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis is an overuse/repetitive strain type injury, and typically presents as heel pain, often particularly acute first thing in the morning, or when getting up after being at rest.  Pain typically diminishes with a few minutes of walking but may come back with extended weight bearing.  Pain may also exist in the arch of the foot.

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that connects the heel to the toes, and it supports the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of that tissue and is typically brought on by a sudden increase in activity, improper footwear, poor foot biomechanics or some combination of these factors.  With the inflammation comes increased strain at the insertion point into the heel bone, and consequently increased heel pain.  The increase in pain in the morning or after rest is due to cramping/tightening of the tissue that occurs when weight is taken off the foot.

Given this information, the question becomes why are so many people from so many different walks of life suffering from the same condition?  It’s impossible to say for sure, but there are a number of possible explanations.  For one, as we become more knowledgeable about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle more and more people are trying to be more active.  In fact, it seems almost everyone has a step counter of some kind these days!  While this is undeniably a good thing, it does increase the impact and strain on the feet. The prevalence of hard surfaces in our world (asphalt roads, concrete sidewalks, concrete floors, hardwood, tile, laminate) likely contributes as well.  One more option I’ve been considering recently is recent trends in footwear design.

It seems like footwear companies lately have shifted their focus toward making their shoes as soft and as lightweight as possible, often at the expense of proper support.  This creates a shoe that out of the box feels fantastic, and you’ll often hear rave reviews like “it feels like there’s nothing on my foot!”  However, these shoes are often marketed as “walking shoes” or “running shoes” and when footwear that lacks adequate support is used for physical activity it can often be a recipe for foot pain.

At Soles in Motion our trained footwear staff, as well as our two Certified Pedorthists are happy to discuss treatment options for plantar fasciitis or to discuss ways to avoid the problem in the first place.  Drop in or call for an appointment today!

Custom Orthotics and Cleats – A challenging combination… but not an impossible one!

As Certified Pedorthists, we are constantly balancing the needs of our clients against the restrictions that exist in the form of footwear. There are countless different styles of footwear in the world today, and not all shoes are created equal in terms of their ability to accommodate an orthotic. In a perfect world we would be able to design the “perfect” orthotic for our clients, and then fit it in the “perfect” shoe. However, in the real world, this is very rarely an option. The restrictions I alluded to earlier come in different forms, including but not limited to:

  • Occupational requirements – all black, steel toe, business attire and a non-slip sole to name a few.
  • Aesthetic concerns – the constant debate of fashion vs function.
  • Sports/Activities – In many cases there are certain shoes designed for specific activities.

Focusing on that last point for a moment, the performance demands of many sports (and the athletes who play them) cannot be met by a standard everyday shoe, and this can create a difficult fit for someone who wears custom orthotics. This is particularly true in sports such as soccer, baseball, football, rugby, lacrosse and others, where more often than not the athletes use cleats. While there are different types of cleats for the different sports, a common theme among them seems to be that they are a more narrow fit, often with very little extra space in the shoe. So, the question becomes how do we balance our clients’ need for control and support (a need that only increases during high impact activities) with the restrictions that exist in the form of their cleats?

The answer is in the orthotic design, and more specifically the materials used. More rigid materials such as carbon fibre or various plastic polymers can be molded into a shell as thin as 2 or 3mm while maintaining adequate control through the strength of the material. A thin top cover completes the product without adding bulk. This design provides the athlete with the support they need without negatively affecting the fit of the cleats.

This is just one of the many ways in which different orthotic materials and designs can be used to provide solutions to the problems encountered by many orthotic users. Speak to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist to find out what option would be best for you

Pedorthics vs Podiatry

One of the most common sources of confusion that we encounter at Soles in Motion is the difference between a Pedorthist and a Podiatrist. Today, I’d like to clear that up once and for all.

Imagine a scenario: You find yourself suffering from persistent foot, leg or back pain that just doesn’t seem to want to go away. It reaches the point where you decide something needs to be done, and so you consult with your doctor (or Dr. Google) and determine that you should be talking to somebody about custom foot orthotics. You call Soles in Motion, and the clinic coordinator offers to book you an appointment with one of our Canadian Certified Pedorthists. Typically, that offer generates a response something along the lines of “Pedorthist? Is that like a Podiatrist?” Well, yes and no. It’s true that both Pedorthists and Podiatrists work with feet, but the scope of practice is quite different.

According to the College of Pedorthics of Canada, a Pedorthist is “an individual who is trained in the manufacturing, fitting and modification of foot appliances and footwear” with the goal of “alleviating painful or debilitating conditions of the lower limb” and “accommodation of foot deformities” among others. So, a Pedorthist specializes in using orthotics and shoes to treat a number of conditions of the foot and lower limb.

A Podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, meaning they have completed graduate studies and hospital residency in the field of podiatry. As such they are trained and qualified to diagnose and treat many feet and ankle problems. Podiatrists may perform minor surgeries as well as providing treatment for various foot ailments such as calluses, corns, warts, ingrown nails and many more. Podiatrists may also fit patients for orthotics in addition to other treatments provided.

Now, that still might not seem like a big difference, so allow me to summarize the key points. A Podiatrist is able to assess and diagnose your foot pain, and in some cases, they may be able to provide treatment in the form of minor surgery, corn, callus or wart removal, nail trimming or removal, etc. A Pedorthist is a professional trained specifically in the use of custom orthotics and related devices to treat various disorders of the foot and lower limb.

In the end, both professions are valuable resources for anyone dealing with foot pain, and many treatment plans will involve input from both Pedorthists and Podiatrists. That said, knowing the difference between the two will help you get started in the right place and get you on track to feeling better as soon as possible!

If you would like more information about Canadian Certified Pedorthists and what they do you can visit www.pedorthic.ca or www.cpedcs.ca, or you can contact Soles in Motion to book an appointment with either Graham or Sandra and they’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Elbow Pain – Tis the Season – Golf, Baseball, Raking

lifters elbow treatment soles in motionGolfers elbow or medial epicondylitis (Inside of the elbow) is caused by the repeated movement of the palm toward the forearm applying a strain on the inner tendons and muscles attached to the inner part of the elbow bones (wrist flexors), causing pain. If the flexors are overused, it causes inflammation. Although called golfers elbow, medial epicondylitis is however not confined to golfers. Actually, a lot of people suffer from it without ever playing golf. It is common among people over using their arm doing different activities, such as painting, raking, typing, turning doorknobs, picking something up with the palm down, even shaking hands, and can be worsened by opening a jar. Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is similar but effect the outside of the elbow. Treatment for both should include rest, ice and physiotherapy. Take the pressure off and reduce the pain – wear a support/brace.  There are many different types of golfers elbow braces available.  Counterforce braces are generally straps worn just below the elbow. Another style is a full-elbow compression sleeve, with a strap to tighten around the forearm. The braces help reduce tension on the painful tendons. You can wear the braces either during activities that cause pain, such as golfing or throughout the day.

Another common condition of the elbow is Bursitis is a painful condition that affects the small, fluid-filled sacs called the bursae that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed. Treatment typically involves resting the affected joint and protecting it from further trauma. In most cases, bursitis pain goes away within a few weeks with proper treatment, but recurrent flare-ups of bursitis are common.

Consider making a no obligation appointment with one of our Certified Brace Specialists to show you the options available.  Our goal is to understand your problem, educate you on non-invasive solutions and come up with a plan that will minimize your pain, maximize your mobility, and provide long-term gain.

Submitted by Jen Estabrooks, Co-owner, General Manager, Soles in Motion, 133 Baker Drive, Dartmouth 902-468-7911 (solesinmotion.ca)