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HOW OFTEN SHOULD INSOLES BE REPLACED (and why own more than one)?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD INSOLES BE REPLACED (and why own more than one)?

3 Factors that Affect Insole Replacement

Like shoes, insoles have a lifespan and wear down over time, but how quickly depends on 3 primary factors:

1) Quality of Insole: Higher quality over the counter insoles generally last longer than insoles made with cheaper polymer materials.

  • Full length, high quality insoles typically cost between $40 - $80 and usually only need replacement when shoes are replaced, which can be anywhere from 6 – 12 months depending on usage.
  • Lower quality insoles cost between $15 - $50 and, though they may be supportive for a week or even a month, they break down fast and must be replaced more often, which can end up costing more than better quality insoles.
  • Softer insoles also tend to wear out quickly and need replacing every 1 – 6 months.

2) Level of Activity: With normal wear during daily activities like walking the dog and running errands, quality insoles could last up to 12 months.

  • High impact sports such as running, hiking or tennis put more stress on inserts, as well as on shoes. Most athletes know that both shoes and insoles used for strenuous activities should be replaced every 4-6 months. (Help Shoe)

 3) Frequency of Use: Some people wear insoles all day every day, while others only wear them during specific activities. Logically the more you wear them the quicker they’ll wear out.

5 Signs that it’s Time to Replace Insoles

  1. Visual Damage: Torn, cracked, etc., which can cause blisters
  2. Fading: Color and Logo
  3. Bad Odor: Indicates bacteria or fungal growth, which can lead to foot infections
  4. Compressed: Constant wear will eventually compress insoles and no longer offer cushioning and support
  5. Life Changes: Pregnancy, surgery, increased physical activity, etc.

  4 Reasons to Own Multiple Pairs of Insoles

  1. Prolong the life of shoes: Not everyone knows that replacing factory insoles with new insoles improves the wearability of shoes by adding more comfort and support. Better alignment in turn will allow for less wear and tear on your shoes / soles. (FootHealth.com)

  2. More footwear choices: There are more types and styles of shoes than ever. Thus, it stands to reason that the more footwear you own, the more insoles you may need.

  3. Rule of thumb (or toe): It’s best to have at least 3 pairs of insoles—One for work, one for play and one for every day. (Or, one for work shoes, one for athletic shoes and one for casual shoes.)
  4. Insoles are for Everyone: Insoles aren’t just for those with foot, back and joint pain. Wearing insoles that provide additional cushioning, arch support, ankle stability and alignment is good for anyone anywhere anytime. So invest in comfort for yourself and for your loved ones too.

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PROBLEMS CAUSED BY OVER-PRONATION

PROBLEMS CAUSED BY OVER-PRONATION
When the arch of the foot collapses excessively downward or inward, this is known as over-pronation.  The way a person’s foot strikes the ground can have significant effects on their body.  Due to lack of proper arch support, people who over-pronate are susceptible to more injuries than people with normal pronation.

Pronation and Over-Pronation

Pronation refers to the foot’s natural way of moving from side to side when a person walks or runs. It occurs as the weight is transferred from the heel to the ball of the foot as a person goes through their walking gait or running stride and specifically refers to the amount that the foot rolls inward toward the arch. Although some pronation is normal, over-pronation can cause various injuries.

Over-pronation is generally caused by either flat or very flexible feet, which people are often born with. However, there are also conditions and situations that can increase a person’s chances of developing flat feet or weakened arches, which can lead to over-pronation. These conditions and situations include (FootSmart):

  • being pregnant
  • being overweight or obese
  • taking part in any activity, such as running, that involves repeatedly striking the foot on a hard surface for an extended period

Over-Pronation and injuries

Over-pronation puts people at an increased risk of developing specific injuries. This is because it disrupts the body’s natural alignment and causes increased impact when the foot strikes the ground. Injuries that frequently occur in people with over-pronation include: (HealthLine)

Diagnosis

Visiting a podiatrist, chiropractor or pedorthist can validate your condition of over-pronation, however many people can self-assess by using one of the following methods:

  1. Look at your feet while standing. If there is no clear space between the foot and the floor where the arch should be, you likely over-pronate.
  2. Check the wear pattern of your shoes. If the majority of the wear is on the inner part of the shoes, you are likely a person with over-pronation.
  3. Analyze your footprint after taking a few steps with bare, wet feet. A person with normal pronation will see their heel print connected to the toe prints with about half of their foot width. A person who over-pronates will see their heel print connected with the full width of their foot.

Treatment options

Once diagnosed, you should see a specialist for if you are experiencing pain or a chronic injury, especially if you have tried to self-correct the problem in the past. A specialist can recommend treatment options that may help solve the problem. There are numerous treatment options available for over-pronation, however the main ones often prescribed are: (Active.com) 

1. Choosing Supportive Shoes - A person with over-pronation should take extra care when selecting shoes, particularly when picking shoes for any activity that involves repeated foot strikes, such as running or walking. Anyone with over-pronation should look for shoes that offer extra support and stability so that the shoes minimize the impact of each step (Podiatry Today). (https://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/5664A) person with over-pronation looking for supportive shoes may want to do the following when selecting shoes:

  • have both feet measured
  • shop at the end of the day and end of the week when feet are a little puffy
  • wear thin socks when shopping
  • look for shoes that offer extra arch support
  • A running store that offers some form of walking-style analysis, a podiatrist or pedorthist can recommend good shoes.
2. Wearing Orthotics - Orthotics are special inserts that slip into shoes to offer extra arch support and help minimize the impact of the way someone walks. Over the counter orthotics are available without a prescription and may provide enough support to prevent injuries due to over-pronation. In some cases over-pronation may require custom orthotics, which a podiatrist can order based on an analysis of the person’s walking style.
SelectFlex arch-control insoles offer a customizable option at over-the-counter prices. At approximately ¼ the cost of custom orthotics, SelectFlex provides an adjustable level of dynamic support to the arch that you cannot achieve from either generic or custom static insoles.

3. Exercises for Over-Pronation – Exercises that strengthen the arches and muscles around them can help to not only relieve the ailments caused by over-pronation but can often be used as a preventative measure. These exercises can help support the arches of their feet and the muscles that help support the arches: (Pain Resource) 

  • First position demi plié: Think of a ballet dancer for this exercise. With turnout from the hips, so the feet angle outward and the heels are together, bend your knees while keeping the heels on the floor.
  • Rolling the feet: While standing with feet hip-width apart, roll your weight to the outside of the feet and then back to normal position repeatedly.
  • Seated calf stretch: Tight calf muscles can put too much stress on the Achilles tendons, worsening flat feet. Stretch calf muscles by sitting with your legs extended in front of you with feet flexed. Then hinge forward at the waist and reach for your toes.

Some people cannot prevent over-pronation but can reduce its effect through the use of orthotics and proper footwear as detailed above. You can also help reduce their risk of an injury related to over-pronation by doing the recommended exercises and maintaining a healthy weight.

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REDUCING WORKPLACE INJURIES – PART II

REDUCING WORKPLACE INJURIES – PART II

In part II of our 2-part blog series, we address the third top injury event in the workplace, why it happens and what can be done to decrease its occurrence.

Preventing Slips, Trips & Falls (STFs)

When people think about dangers in the workplace, they often underestimate the impact of STFs. Not only are these accidents major causes of injuries leading to missed work, but they can also be deadly. According to OSHA, slips trips and falls are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities, resulting in 15% of all accidental deaths. (Safety Online Worker). For workers in hospital environments, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [2009] states that the incidence rate of lost-workday STF injuries was 38.2 per 10,000 employees, which was 90% greater than the average rate for all other private industries combined (20.1 per 10,000 employees). STFs as a whole are the second most common cause of lost-workday injuries in hospitals. (CDC)

10 Proactive Prevention Tips

While slips, trips and falls can often be attributed to carelessness or clumsiness, the good news is that most accidents are preventable. It is critical to frequently survey your work environment to avoid potential issues. Here are 10 proactive prevention tips to help keep your employees and customers safe and out of harm’s way. (Interstate Restoration)

  • Keep walking surfaces clean and free of clutter. An unobstructed path minimizes the opportunity for employees to trip over unexpected objects and reduces the potential for falls.
  • Keep stairwells clear, well-lit and free from unsecured objects. Stairs are a common area for falls in the workplace and additional care is often required to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Power, internet and phone cords can often create a sea of obstacles for employees and customers. Try to run cables behind walls or under carpets to keep them hidden. Install power outlets, internet connections and phone jacks in easily-accessible locations to avoid running cables across walkways.
  • Proper lighting inside and outside of the workplace can help illuminate common areas where employees or customers may trip or fall. More often than not, steps or other hazards are hidden in darkness or shadows. Installing spotlights, step lighting, reflective tape, etc. helps highlight problems areas and can reduce STFs.
  • Using clear, well-placed signage can help call attention to potential problem areas. A sign indicating a step, gap, uneven ground or loose rocks will call attention to the hazard and increase awareness and attentiveness.
  • Providing ways for employees to reach heights safely, such as ladders and accessible step stools, can minimize falls. By ensuring supportive options are present, there is less chance that an employee (or customer) will decide to rely on unstable chairs, desks or tables.
  • Make sure there are no cracks or holes in building flooring or in the pavement outside. Repair any problem areas immediately and be sure to place warning signs in/on/around areas that need to be fixed.
  • Rugs are an easy solution on otherwise slippery surfaces, but be sure to add non-skid padding beneath all rugs.
  • In the event a spill occurs, immediately place warning signs around the hazard, then tackle the cleanup process as soon as possible.
  •  Make sure employees wear footwear that is appropriate for specific work conditions. Shoes with proper arch support should be provided to facilitate optimal balance at all times, as well as shoes with good traction to avoid slipping.

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