By injury..My top 5 questions and top 5 tests to use BEFORE prescribing orthoses.

My mate Ted is a crazy cat, but he likes really good coffee and fine wine, so he is OK by me. In his more lucid moments, and when he is not relaxing with his lovely wife in Byron Bay (which is rarely), he is a pretty good critical thinker, and, as a valued BB Founding Member, he asked me, to write a piece on what I thought were the top 5 questions and top 5 tests, to ask and employ, before diving into orthotic therapy.


And that really got me thinking..
First up, let's define the injuries we will put under the blowtorch.
The usual suspects are:

• plantar heel pain
• shin pain
• Achilles pain
• knee pain

So this seems a good starting point.
Another thing to do sooner rather than later would be to draw up a general flow chart or algorithm to describe how I might go about assessing an injury.The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons algorithm for plantar heel pain is a good example.


This stepwise approach is a great way to think about the assessment and management of any sports injury. I particularly like the test and retest approach to make sure you are on track and have met you treatment goals (hint, if you do not have any goals, you are unlikely to get a good outcome!!)

During the following exercise, I shall assume that I am the first practitioner the patient has consulted and that there has been no previous attempt at treatment.

So.. my top 5 questions for plantar heel pain:


Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical