Snow skiing doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Ski boots drastically effect performance and enjoyment. Finding a pair of ski boots can be an extremely intimidating experience and when you spend a lot of money on a pair, and continue to have pain, it can be a very frustrating and demoralizing experience.
Ski boot related pain can present in many ways and is most often related to the boot being too narrow which can compress neurovascular structures in the foot and create painful pressure points. Taking your boot to a boot fitter who can work on the boot liner and make external modifications to the boot can help, but if pain continues it may be time for a custom arch support to save your season.
Transitioning pressure to the inside and outside of the foot while initiating and carrying out a turn on skis requires significantly more force on the foot than walking or running. This force over strains the internal musculature of the foot, specifically the arch. Flat feet structurally have less stability and weaker internal musculature. This often results in a searing, burning, aching pain in the arch of the foot while skiing often referred to as “Plantar Intrinsic Stress Syndrome”. Excessive pressure to the balls of the feet is also common, as correct form requires forward lean, called “Metatarsalgia”.
Supporting the arch strengthens and reduces strain on the foot. This can improve skiing discomfort and allow a more efficient transition of medial and lateral pressure from the foot to the ski edge while performing a turn. A custom orthotic also distributes pressure more evenly throughout the foot and can reduce pain to the balls of the feet, the metatarsal heads.
In addition to using an arch support, performing strengthening exercises such as the toe curl and the short foot exercise can help improve the foot’s ability to handle a day on the ski slopes.
Call Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic today to schedule for a consultation and orthotic fitting in preparation for the upcoming ski season. Mention this article and receive $50 off orthotics not billed through your insurance. Reports are predicting a La Niña winter which could make for an amazing season!