Australian Physical Therapists Conquer Base of Mount Everest

16 January 2018 - posted by Jeremy & Jo Duggan
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How do Formthotics make a difference for your feet?

07 December 2017 - posted by Formthotics HQ

Our feet are pretty important even though we may take for granted how much they do for us every day. For example, did you know, a person has over 25% of the bones in their body right down in his or her feet? Being in the business of feet, we have researched the best options in an orthotic that will compliment shoes and bring comfort, balance, stability, and increased performance and endurance to people's feet. So how do Formthotics foot orthotics, stand apart from other brands? The differences between all of these foot othotics is amazing - and a bit overwhelming if you are just beginning to look into what is right for your feet. 

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How can I prevent blisters on my feet?

29 November 2017 - posted by Formthotics HQ
I rritating and troublesome, blisters are not a joy for anyone. If you are a runner, work on your feet all day, or walk a lot,  it is never fun to have a blister develop. So why do these painful bumps develop and how can they be prevented?  How do you best care for blisters properly before they are extremely painful and debilitating?  It's important to always be treating your feet with the best care, so we want to address this painful issue to help with understanding why blisters occur and actions to take to prevent these painful blisters on my feet.

Why do blisters occur?

Blisters are mainly caused by friction, usually your shoes or socks rubbing against your skin. Anything that intensifies rubbing can start a blister, including a faster pace walking, hiking, or running; poor-fitting shoes; poorly fastened footwear (not doing up laces correctly); and the fabric and texture of your sock. Friction can also be intensified by heat and moisture making your feet swell inside those socks and shoes. (1)

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Are you fearful of falling?

06 November 2017 - posted by Formthotics HQ

As we age, sometimes mobility decreases due several reasons. Falling down can happen to the best of us and might just seem like and embarrassing inconvenience. However, injuries directly resulting from a fall in the elderly are the leading cause of hospitalisation and one of the top three causes of injury-related death (NZ ACC 2012). One in three people aged 65 and over are falling each year.  How can we delay this from happening, gain more control and stability in our feet, and prevent falls?

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Is Running Bad for your Knees?

02 November 2017 - posted by Jeremy & Jo Duggan

At least once a week, a patient tells me a story about their bad knees and how it must have been due to all the running they used to do. This is while they are lying on their hospital bed, waiting for their knee replacement later that day.

In Australia, osteoarthritis affects one in five people, and that increases to one in two people over the age of 65 (Australian Bureau of Statistics). In 2016, 60,211 knee replacement surgeries were performed in Australia (National Joint Replacement Registry). That’s almost double the number of surgeries that happened in 2006 and every year it is rising.

So, as a 30 something-year-old who runs three times a week, should I be concerned that I am damaging my knees? Is running bad for your knees?

We already know that running has numerous benefits. It can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol levels, boost your immune system, fight depression, reduce stress and increase your overall mood. But for years the debate has been argued on whether or not running is bad for your knees.

Recent research has come back in favour of the constant ‘pounding of the pavement’. Running, when compared to a sedentary lifestyle, can actually help reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis at a later age.

So, are you saying that running may actually bullet-proof my knees, rather than damage them with osteoarthritis?

Not everyone who runs is destined to get osteoarthritis. There are a myriad of confounding factors that may lead to this debilitating condition.

Let’s start with a bit of anatomy.

The knees sure do take a lot of pressure when running. Anywhere between five and twelve times your body weight in fact!

Your hip is made up of a nice ball and socket, your ankle is made up of a complex system of joints which help to dissipate forces throughout the foot, but the knees take the brunt right through its surfaces (no wonder that there is a common running injury called “runner’s knee”).

The femoral condyles (the end of the long bone in your thigh – the femur) are nicely rounded, and sit on top of the tibial plateau (the bigger of the two bones in your shin – the tibia) which is a flat surface.

At the end of each bone is a hard shiny surface of cartilage, which can wear down over time. Now, we add the shock absorption properties of the meniscus and you have a fairly standard knee unit – for simplicity, we will leave out a few other structures such as the patella and ligaments.

So, what happens when the shock absorption properties fail over time? Think of your car when its suspension springs get rusty. There are increased forces through your bony surfaces, and those hard shiny layers of cartilage start to wear thin – this is when osteoarthritis starts to kick you in the ass backside.

Wouldn’t it be best to limit all forces through your joints so you don’t even give them a chance to develop osteoarthritis?

In short, no!

Lifestyle factors play a huge part in whether or not someone will develop osteoarthritis, and it seems that a sedentary lifestyle will have a similar prevalence of osteoarthritis than someone who runs 90 km a week!

What does the research say?

This systematic review and meta-analysis – a very strong research design – looked to compare three groups of people.

  1. The competitive and high volume runner – professional athletes and people who compete internationally or run more than 92 kilometers per week.

  2. The recreational runner – most of us will fall under this group, from new runners tomembers of clubs who train a few days a week.

  3. Non-runner, or controls – those sedentary people we mentioned above.

They found that, out of over 114,000 people, the prevalence of developing osteoarthritis in the competitive runner was 13.3%, the non-runner was 10.2%, and the recreational runner just 3.5%!

What does this mean for you?

The benefits of exercise are numerous, and recreational runners have less chance of developing osteoarthritis compared to competitive athletes and sedentary people. According to the research, this is true for both males and females. There seems to be a sweet spot where doing too little and too much can put great strain on your joints, so get out there and get moving!


With the above research, it is hard to include injuries, so if you are carrying one, get on top of it before pushing things to breaking point!

Take Home Point.

Casual runners (who run less than 92kms a week) are less likely to develop osteoarthritis than a person with a sedentary lifestyle.

It is proven that people who are overweight are two times more likely to develop osteoarthritis and people who are obese are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis. It is generally believed that injuries increase your chance of osteoarthritis, so if running is causing knee pain or injuries, make sure you see a good physiotherapist to assist you with your running.

Another proven way to lower your chances of developing osteoarthritis is to increase your muscle strength, so ensure you’re adding some resistance training into your sessions. 

We use Formthotics™ in our shoes – an orthotic which gives you stability from the ground up and helps to support your running. Formthotics help align the body from the ground up, assisting with shock absorption and relief of pressure points with a more even distribution of weight across the foot surface, which is particularly important on hard surfaces. With Formthotics, your foot is supported in a natural posture, reducing fatigue, improving stability and function.

Still skeptical?

That is fine, we are not trying to convert people into being runners, we are just highlighting some of the research, which says that running is not as bad for your joints as it is presumed!

If you are still unsure, try biking or swimming – the cardiovascular effort is great and being relatively non-weight bearing exercises, you won’t have any trouble with your achy knees after those!

If worse comes to worse, and you do need a knee replacement when you are 70, perhaps we will find hope in this inspirational story from Roger Robertson – a 71-year-old runner who continued running after a total knee replacement. 

Happy Running. 

*Please note that this content is not personal medical advice and is intended for general education purposes only. Consult with your doctor, physiotherapist or surgeon before starting a running plan if you are worried about arthritis. 


Follow our Team Ambassadors, Jeremy and Joanna Duggan - Physiotherapists from Australia who also have a passion to travel the world and make adventure happen with major events - like climbing to the basecamp of Mt. Everest and running a marathon in Antartica and so much more! You can follow their blog here:  Coming Home Strong


Safe Exercises to Help with Shin Splints

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Freiberg's Disease - How Formthotics can Help

30 October 2017 - posted by Parisa Forouzandeh

What is Freiberg's disease?

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Mike Phillips - Fastest Debut in the World in Ironman Triathlon!

24 October 2017 - posted by Formthotics HQ

Triathlete Mike Phillips, our Team Formthotics Ambassador from Christchurch, New Zealand just made history the beginning of October 2017. Mike competed in his first Full Ironman Race in Barcelona, Spain finishing 2nd overall among a huge field of seasoned triathletes. His time of 7 hr, 52 min, 50 sec was the fastest debut world Ironman racer's time in history and his time is the 2nd fastest Kiwi ironman in NZ!  This was also one of the busiest races this fall with over 100 pro triathletes registered! The top finishing times are recorded to earn points toward an invitation to the 2018 World Champion Triathlon in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, so a lot of athletes enter this IM creating a huge field of swimmers, cyclists, and runners to contend with. 

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Bethlehem Child Helped with Formthotics Orthotics / Insoles

17 October 2017 - posted by Formthotics HQ
  Christen lives in Beit Jala, a small town in Palestine close to  Bethlehem , and 10 km south of Jerusalem. She is 7 years old, and has a condition that has meant that for most of her life she has had to wear orthopaedic-style black shoes and boots….definitely not the footwear young girls like to wear!!
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Golfing with Excellent Orthotics

13 September 2017 - posted by Formthotics HQ

 "The golf swing always starts from the ground up." - Jack Nicklaus- Retired PGA Golfer.  Golfing with excellent foot support to improve balance, stance, and stability is a critical component. Adding Formthotics™ Sport Golf customisable orthotics into your golf shoes can really help improve this stability and support. You can play golf in comfortable shoes for longer with less fatigue; move more efficiently with better responsiveness; and gain improved stability. Ultimately, you’ll enjoy greater performance while playing golf.

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How to Get Into Running

11 September 2017 - posted by Jeremy & Jo Duggan

I love to run, but this was not always the case. It is great for physical and mental health as well as being a great social outlet. A while back I was only able to run 500 metres before I had to walk to catch my breath, but in a few months I was running my first half marathon (and running the entire distance without stopping to walk!).

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