Getting measured for Custom Orthotics at The Fane Clinic

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary pair of Custom Orthotics from The Fane Clinic for this article. All words and images are my own and may not be copied without my permission.

Feet – they’re funny old things really aren’t they? Our feet carry our heavy loads from the moment we learn to walk, we squash them into ill-fitting shoes, we walk miles and miles without resting and sometimes if we’re feeling kind we might invest in a little pamper and give ourselves a pedicure or even better let someone else give us a pedicure. Sometimes we pop a little moisturiser on them or a bit of nail varnish to make them look pretty but do we ever really consider how important our foot health really is? I have never particularly liked my feet, my toes are short and nearly all the same length (I look like I have kicked a wall), I have a really high arch and my toes barely touch the floor.

A little bit of my history

My Feet

Teens

Waaaaaay back when I was at school I used to do long cross-country running, I was quite good at it too and was even selected to represent our school in an inter-counties race. I took part in all the school sports classes and all was going well until my mid-teens when I started to suffer from swollen and painful knees. I was diagnosed with Chondromalacia patellae and advised to rest my knees as much as possible and to slow down on sports so I missed lots of PE lessons at school.

Twenties

Foot Anatomy

Years later in my early twenties I sprained my ankle for the first time, I suffered from an ingrown toenail on my left foot and had to have it removed, I sprained my right ankle and then my left one again. When out dancing the night away in bars and clubs I would get the most horrendous burning sensation in my feet that would shoot pain up my ankles. I was diagnosed with Morton’s Neuroma, a thickening of the nerves between the third and fourth toes on both feet so I had an operation to remove them.

Thirties

In my thirties, I sprained both ankles a few more times and during pregnancy, I suffered from debilitating pain in my hips which made sleep almost impossible. I developed sciatica too, how could all of this be possible when I was only in my thirties?? This year shortly after my 40th birthday I sprained my left ankle again and this time was told that I have hypermobility in my joints, something which used to be called ‘being double-jointed’. I used to think it was a good thing to be double-jointed, it meant I was more supple and bendy but no, in actual fact it meant that my joints were more susceptible to damage.

A chance meeting

Back in September I attended the Hotter VIP Event and was lucky enough to be introduced to Adrian Woolley from The Fane Clinic in Peterborough. I apologised to Adrian when I hadn’t heard of The Fane Clinic but was definitely interested to know more. Adrian explained how the positioning of the foot can be responsible for the majority of ailments in the lower body and that by treating the foot, you can free the body of many aches and pains which have troubled you for years. I explained to Adrian how I had managed to sprain both ankles numerous times over the years and that I had various aches, pains and ailments in my feet, knees, hips and lower back and so he has offered to make me a pair of orthotics free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion of their service and the results of the orthotics over the coming months.

Finding The Fane Clinic

The Fane Clinic

The Fane Clinic is situated just off the Paston Ridings a short car journey from Peterborough City Centre in a beautiful listed Farm House building. There was ample parking at the front of the building when I arrived and you enter through the front of the building – be warned the door opens outwards!!

Inside I found the Reception to the left in a quaint period room with a lovely original inglenook fireplace and a friendly happy face behind the Reception desk. The receptionist checked me in and asked if I had managed to find my way there without too much difficulty and chatted to me with ease. I only had to wait a couple of minutes before Adrian arrived to take me through for my consultation.

Initial Consultation

Adrian began by taking down notes of my medical history and past operations. He wanted to know if there was any medication that I was currently taking and then wanted to know what it was that had made me seek his help. Other than my recent bout of ankle sprains I had attended the hospital last year as I had suffered from much ankle pain and severe stiffness which the hospital had been unable to pinpoint. They could see that I had swelling in my joints but nothing was picked up on an MRI scan and the medication they prescribed did nothing to help me. After my own research into natural healthcare, I had stumbled upon Devil’s Claw and have been mostly pain-free for the past year but I wanted a more permanent cure without having to take any kind of medication.

Getting Measured

We began by taking my height and weight measurements, careful I’m sure Adrian tried to make me out to be a few pounds heavier – either that or he needs his eyes testing (an honest mistake). Next, I was asked to stand on a special sensor pad that measured how my weight was distributed through my feet.

When I first looked at the screen, despite knowing that Adrian was measuring my feet, I asked “what’s that?” and then immediately after “where are my toes?”. I was genuinely surprised that my feet were so bad but I commented that it would probably be a good idea if I avoided doing footprint painting in the future. My footprints looked more like a set of hooves than a human, seriously WHAT THE ?????

Getting to grips with my feet

The Fane Clinic

Next up it was time to take a load off and lay back on the bench whilst Adrian took a good look at my feet. Upon examination he commented that the tendons on my toes were very tight which made them pull up in a kind of ‘claw’, he remarked on the callouses on the balls of my feet which showed where pressure was placed upon my feet and would no doubt be the reason behind my Morton’s Neuromas many years ago. I also have a tight Achilles Tendon which means my foot doesn’t lift up at the toes as much as it should and as GP had previously noted. I have quite ‘floppy’ ankles. I was also interested to discover that my left leg is fractionally longer than my right. Didn’t Adrian pick a challenge when he suggested making my orthotics!

These feet were made for walking

Custom orthotics

I hopped up onto the treadmill where I saw that a video was set to record my movements from the front and behind my feet. Before setting the treadmill into motion Adrian noticed that I have ‘fatty deposits’ on my heals. Something which I explained always puts me off wearing pretty ‘slingback’ shoes as I hate my feet from behind too. He explained that this was due to the pressure being placed on my heels and transferring back into my heels. Adrian also pointed out where the creases in the backs of my knees were uneven due to one leg being slightly longer than the other AND my knees turning slightly inward due to my having collapsed arches. The result of this is that my knee caps will not move ‘up and down’ as they are designed to but will instead move more side to side and cause pain (hello, Chondromalacia patellae).

As soon as the treadmill spurred into motion Adrian commented on how my feet would ‘flick’ as I walked as they tried to transfer the pressure. A ‘healthy’ foot should hit the floor on the back outside edge of the heal, transfer along the outside of the foot and pass out through the big toe propelling you forward. Mine doesn’t do this . . . at all!

After two minutes on the treadmill, Adrian stopped the recording and played it back through the video monitor situated at the front of the treadmill so that I could see exactly what he was seeing. He slowed the video right down to show me how my foot works in motion and I could see precisely what it was that he was getting at.

Photo Finish

The final piece of the jigsaw came in the form of a ‘foot photocopier’. I had to wear a special pair of socks that smelled of lovely fresh laundry detergent and then stand on the foot scanner, one foot at a time. Once on the scanner, Adrian repositioned my foot and asked me to hold the position whilst the scanner did its work.

Coming up . . .

Adrian explained that it would now take approximately 2-3 weeks for my custom orthotics to be made by Edser Labs and coated by their specialist lab in Wimbledon. Once he had received them back, I would be invited to go back for my fitting and would then be sent away to see how I get on with my new foot positioning.

Tune in next time to find out more about my journey to a pain-free me!

6 Comments

  • Gill Jacob

    October 19 at 1:50 pm

    Lovely to hear you had such a positive experience, and so brilliant you met this man by chance too – looking forward to reading about your follow up post xxx

  • Miracle Max

    October 19 at 2:45 pm

    Wow, your feet have really been through the wars over the years. I can’t wait to read the next instalment, good luck! Jo x

  • Emma

    October 19 at 3:41 pm

    It is always nice to finally start getting answers after such a long time. How lucky that you met someone who could help you by chance. Good luck with your recovery.

    1. IamMummyMatters

      October 26 at 9:38 pm

      I feel very lucky to have met Ady when I did, I really feel like this is the start of a healthier me x

  • Kara Guppy

    October 22 at 7:13 am

    Wish my orthotics appointment was a detailed – mine don’t help……in fact they make it worse. I have hypermobility too and now arthritis in my feet which is sooooo painful

    1. IamMummyMatters

      October 22 at 2:44 pm

      Oh no that’s not very good. I know that your feet will ache initially but I have been told that when I receive mine I have to wear them for a short time each day until my feet start to hurt then take them off until the following day and aim for a little longer wear each day xx

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