What is Supination Resistance

Supination resistance is an attempt to measure the force that is needed to supinate the foot. It is used in the clinical assessment of patients and in the prescribing of foot orthotics. In foot orthotic prescribing, the “rule” is that the more force needed to supinate the foot, so the more rigid and inverted the foot orthotic should be. If that force is low, then softer and more flexible foot orthotics can be used. The supination resistance force also correlates with some pathologies in the foot.

PodChatLive had an episode on supination resistance to bring together all the key researchers on the topic (embedded above). Podiatry Arena has a lot of threads on the supination resistance and this blog post explains it in great detail.

Can a Plantar Plate Tear Heal on its Own?

A plantar plate tear is a common reason for pain under the ball of the foot, typically just below and distal to the 2nd and 3rd metatarsophalangeal joints. You often see the question in forums about if a plantar plate tear can heal on its own?

It is highly unlikely that a plantar plate tear will be able to heal on its own. Almost always, some form of treatment or intervention. The cause of the problem in the plantar plate from a tear or a “pre-tear” (dysfunction) is always due to a mechanical overload. If that overload is still there, then can not heal on its own. However, if you limp and reduce activity levels, then that mechanical overload is reduced so it might heal up on its own, eventually.

The use of strapping or tape to reduce the mechanical overload by preventing the toe from flexing can certainly give it time to heal on “its own”. Most cases will need to use treatments such as the strapping, stiff-soled or rocker sole shoes or foot orthotics to off-load that mechanical overload to allow it to heal. However, those interventions do not always work or work quickly enough, then that is when a surgical repair is indicated.

Bunion Correctors

Bunion correctors are a night splint or brace that are supposed to straighten the big toe when there is a hallux valgus present.

bunion corrector

There is a lot of debate and discussion if they actually work or not. Opinion is divided and the research evidence for them is sparse. One study does show they they do help a small amount in the short term, but no research has looked at them over the long term.

The reason for the divided opinion is that a lot of force from the biomechanics and shoes during the day time goes into producing the valgus position of the toe and how can a splint just worn for the night over come that? Any good done during the night is likely to be undone the next day walking around. Obviously more research is needed to sort this put.

There is some commentary that they are still beneficial to use even if they do not correct the toe by much as they will keep the toe and joint mobile and flexible, which has to be a good thing.

Archies Arch Support Thongs

In Australia, they call thongs what the rest of the world call flipflops. In Australia, such footwear like these thongs are an important part of the laid back lifestyle, so for those that need to wear foot orthotics, they either do not wear them or they can not wear thongs or flip flops. That is where these Archies Arch Support Thongs come in. They were developed in Australia by a physiotherapist to provide some sort of arch support on a thong or flip flop.

They have about 2.2cm of arch support built into them which is very similar to what most premade orthotics have in them, so they are a sensible viable alternative or adjunct to foot orthotic therapy.

The Archies Arch Support Thongs are selling very well in Australia and are highly recommended there by Podiatrists. A lot of podiatry clinics sell them and a lot of them use them for themselves and their families. For more on the Archies, see these links.