Sports Medicine and Custom Orthotics

We asked Matt Keller, MS, LAT, ATC, Director of Sports Medicine at Franklin & Marshall College to share how  SOLO custom orthotics are part of his Sports Medicine Practice.

How do you use custom orthotics in your practice?

My colleagues and I typically use custom orthotics for athletes who are having overuse lower extremity pain. I have used them for diagnosis including:  MTSS, Tibial Stress Fractures, Compartment Syndrome, IT Band Syndrome, Patella Femoral Syndrome, the occasional Morton’s Neuroma or Accessory Navicular.

How is working with athletes different than non-athlete patients?

In sports medicine, the biggest challenge is trying to minimize their time lost due to injury. The goals for athletes recovering from an injury are significantly different than many non-athlete patients. They are not simply looking to get back to ADLs. They want to get back to performing at a high level of activity. My athlete’s goals are not always to be pain-free. Many of them don’t mind playing through some pain if they can continue to play their sport. Especially when it comes to in-season injuries. Goals are a little different out of season.

Another important factor is understanding their goals. There is a big difference between wanting to get back to playing their sport and wanting to be pain-free and returning to their sport. The treatment plan for these two goals is very different, mainly in how long you are going to shelve them. Athletes do not want to stop playing their sport, regardless of an injury. Sometimes that is the only option available. Other times you can be a little more aggressive in your decision making in returning them to their sport.

Why not tape instead of using custom orthotics in your practice?

Many in my profession used to do arch tapings and even shin tapings to try to relieve pain. Most of the time these athletes can benefit from a pair of custom orthotics which will be much more comfortable for the athlete and save the athletic trainer on the cost of supplies. It is a win win.

Tell us about your  personal experience as an athlete who uses custom orthotics.

I am an avid runner myself and have used SOLO custom orthotics for roughly 10 years now. I had developed a nagging medial knee pain when I began running that I figured was from an issue with my foot mechanics after a significant ankle injury. Since wearing my first pair of SOLO Functional orthotics, I have not had that knee pain return. I am a big believer in the use of custom orthotics for correction to poor structure mechanics.   

Why choose SOLO for custom orthotics?

SOLO makes my job easier by providing a quality orthotic at a reasonable price. When it comes to any company who is selling you a product such as orthotics, or any other medical supply for that matter, there two important things I am looking for:

  • Top Notch Customer Service. This is the main reason I have stayed with SOLO for some many years.
  • Customization. I don’t do a lot of fancy customization with my orders.  I leave that to the podiatrists. But I like the fact that I have many options available to choose from.

Looking for custom orthotics to help with athletic performance?  Ask the SOLO customer service team for suggestions.


Matthew S. Keller, MS, LAT, ATC, Director of Sports Medicine, Franklin & Marshall College can be found on LinkedIn .


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