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Hockey/Siatica & heel area Pronating


Hi, I have previously emailed, but have new information. I am looking for some help that I tried to learn over the last 8 years. I am 66, small frame and light, still playing hockey. I have a difficult time with over pronation if you can call it that as my arches are not too bad!. I have been adding shims to the medial heel area with great results, but where will it stop? My Superfeet are now on quite angle with my foot higher in the boot. I have 8 mm of shims and I seem to be adding a bit more every 2nd or 3rd game.

I had skating problems in the right foot after a an acute/severe bout of sciatica in 2007. After this I started to need an orthotic in my right skate even though my arch was fine! 2nd bout of sciatica took place Nov. 2012 and after this I had trouble with both feet, when in skates, making me feel like I was over pronating.

Superfeet in both skates and 8 mm (could go less) of shims (2.5" long) in both skates below the Superfeet on the medial side, so as to twist my ankles into a strait position.

This has been working, at least give me the ability to play to 70% of my ability. I can order custom skates (remotely) from VH, but they are wondering where my center of gravity over the blades will be.

If I could only figure out when my pronation is going to stop I would order the skates.

My neurosurgeon felt I was not bad enough for surgery and I liked that, but would not answer clearly that the sciatica was the problem until I asked him point blank could my nerves been damaged as a result to the sciatica and he said maybe and would not go any further.  

Has anybody ever heard of the situation I am in and how can I tell the skate builder to push my blades laterally to overcome my problem. If ordered and my pronation gets a bit worse I can always have shims added to the lateral side.  

The main issue is to get me over my blades properly now with the skates I am using. With the shims that are about 1.5" wide and 2.5" by 7-8 mm thick along the heel area sounds really crazy, but I am very frustrated that I can't get any help!

Can anyone offer suggestions as to what I can do with my present skates? If I buy a custom skates they will but posts and nuts in so I may be able to adjust the holder by reaming out the holes in the holder of the blade. I could get them to set the holders as far medially as the think will do it then have the ability to move the holders inward by simply loosening the nuts and shifting them inward.

Thanks and desperate!

Alan Sheppard  

Hello Alan...

I don't have much experience with skate adjustments, etc.  I have had issues with my Sciatic... in fact leading to a herniated disk at L5-C1 --  I had to do the Micro Lumbar disketcomy and WOW -- what a relief.  It's been 6 months now and feels great.  The downside is the slow recovery till it has fully healed before playing hockey again.  I have started working out and plan to start skating next month!

At least I can walk and sit without pain now!  

Best of luck to you!



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I have been playing amateur hockey for 48 years... from Youth hockey up to Jr. "B", and now still play in adult leagues. I have coached youth hockey for 10+ years and have been an "active student" of all aspects of learning, playing and coaching hockey for past 8 years. I offer not only some X`s & O`s about hockey but also some experience in practical, philosophical, spiritual and motivational aspects of playing and learning the game. My son is now 26 - just done with his carreer through College. He went through all the hurdles to get to Juniors and played there for 3 years, then College for 4. I am happy to share our experience during that journey.


Now in my 49th year involved with this awesome ever evolving sport! I am USA Hockey Certified as Intermediate Level Coach. I have a BA degree in Psychology with minor in business (Brock University), as well as a LLB (law degree) from Ottawa University. I have owned and operated my family business for 30+ years now. I have co-parented 3 great kids!

Social Studies Diploma CEGEP - Marianopolis College, Montreal Quebec BA - Psychology, Minor in Business - Brock University Law Degree - Ottawa University

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