Stijn, 39 years old, has been an airline pilot for 15 and knows the Airbus 320 inside and out. He was a passionate triathlete, but a tenacious injury (plantar fasciitis) prevented him from playing sports. Since he's been using the Phits insoles designed by Pulso Preventielab, the injury is completely under control, he can run without problem and plays squash every week again. He tells us his story about how the right insoles can really make a difference.
Stijn, you can tell us more about your problem and the impact it had on your daily activities?
"I've only gotten really into triathlon at a high intensity when I was 34. And like many others, I also wanted to do too much too quickly. As a result, I overloaded my body and plantar fasciitis was the result. At first I thought it was heel spur but it wasn't, the two are easily confounded. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the heel to the toes, where the tendon attaches to the heel. I've continued training with this injury for a long time, because when you get out of bed it hurts a lot, but once the tendon gets warmed up, the pain diminishes throughout the day but the inflammation doesn't just go away. My situation was getting worse and after a while I wasn't even able to stand up for two minutes anymore, that's the amount of pain I was in. Let alone that I could still go out running ... "
"In my quest for relief I tried everything; from physiotherapy, traditional orthotics, shockwave therapy, various types of shoes and even injections. We even went so far as to consult with a surgeon, the date for the operation was set to be honest. Every moment of the day I felt this sharp pain down my heels for almost 5 years ... "
Eventually you found help at Pulso Preventielab. How did you end up with them?
I knew Bart, the manager of Pulso, through our triathlon club and that's how I ended up with his colleague Matthias as a last resort to try and avoid surgery. I did a gait analysis and Matthias recommended an innovation developed by Phits especially for plantar fasciitis. I had previously tried different kinds of insoles without any luck so I wasn't too hopeful. Until I saw them. There was a noticeable difference in the way they corrected my posture and offered support. Although I must admit they looked a bit extreme ...
Have the insoles helped fix your problem?
I've been looking for a solution for 5 years and now I can finally say I’m rid of the problem. Since I’ve had the insole I ran a half marathon again without pain. In my daily life, I’m no longer having trouble either. I wear the soles in my regular shoes and my running shoes.
How long did you have to get used to the new insoles? What was your first encounter like?
As I said I thought they were quite extreme and I needed about three weeks to get used to them. The first pair had a very soft, thick top layer. Because of that layer, it was difficult to get them into my dress shoes, but I got the chance to test a second pair, without that thick layer. These gave the same support but were just a bit firmer. Soon I found that these felt a bit better, during sports as in my daily life.
So, you can play sports again? How's your progress going?
I can run and play squash again without any trouble. I do a little less exercise because I no longer compete in triathlons, but in October I took part in the Brussels Half Marathon (1h30) and that felt very good. Once things settle down a bit at work, I want to train for a full marathon.
Would you recommend Matthias' services and Pulso Preventielab or these insoles to friends and acquaintances?
Matthias is very professional and knows his stuff! I've visited him a few times and I’ve also sent him many emails and I always got the information or support I needed.
To me the insoles are THE solution to a very difficult, tiring injury which wouldn't go away so I would recommend them to everyone.
More info? www.pulso-preventielab.be