In one study, 10% of the New Zealand Army had plantar fasciitis along with other injuries caused by footwear that wasn’t supporting their feet. Over three months, to have 10% of your army down with stress fractures and other injuries of the back, hip, knee, foot and ankle, is not good – especially when all this could have been prevented.
When the army gave orthotics, or insoles, to 5% of those who had developed the injuries, they noted that all injuries except stress fracture of the femur and overuse injuries significantly improved.
Plantar fasciitis affects runners as well as those in the military because of repetitive stress on the heel. Those whose body is not perfectly aligned, because of biomechanical imbalances, are the ones who are most likely to develop the condition. The symptoms include pain on the heel as soon as you take your first step of the day. The best treatment is therapeutic exercises and orthotics to correct the biomechanical flaws in the person’s walk, according to researchers.
An insole that is put into a shoe can correctly align the foot, ankle, knee and hip and end up preventing a lot of distress. Similar to the chiropractic concept of when a bone is misaligned – no matter where it is in the body- there will be pain. Aligning it eliminates the pain eventually, although it may take a bit of time for the body to heal.
With all the marching and running that the military does on a daily basis, you can understand why those in this profession need adequate foot support – hiking boot insoles. So what are some good military insoles, and should you send some to your loved ones in the military now?
Remember that an insole only lasts 12 months and its life is usually rated on the mileage that is walked in. So you may want to get one or two different pairs for your loved one to test out and then buy a few more of the one that worked out the best. Whatever you do, you won’t want your loved one to be without these while in the military.
Source: Baxter, M.L, Baycroft, C., and Baxter, G.D. Lower limb injuries in soldiers: feasibility of reduction through implementation of a novel Orthotic screening protocol. Mil Med 2011 Mar;176(3):291-6.
Middleton, J.A. and Kolodin, E.L. Plantar fasciitis-heel pain in athletes. J Athl Train 1992;27(1):70-5.