Dear Fellow Athletes,
Throughout my career as an Olympic marathon runner, I have recognized the need to stay injury free. Regular medical treatment, proper footwear, and wise training have helped me minimize injury over almost 30 years of running. Despite all my efforts to stay injury free, I started to experience Achilles tendon pain in the autumn of 2005. I found that I would awaken in the morning with such intense pain that I could hardly walk. Over time, I discovered that my tendon and heel were indeed injured, and that I would require medical intervention. I also learned that this injury was exacerbated by an unconscious habit of pointing my toes or dorsa-flexing when I slept. If I could control this, then I could reduce the discomfort in the morning. It was then that I started to hear about Westcoast Orthopedic Laboratories’ Night Splint Sock. The Night Splint Sock fits over the foot and pulls the toes upwards towards a strap that sits at the top of shin. By adjusting the tension of the strap, the foot is prevented from dorsa-flexing during sleep. Figuring I had little to lose by giving it a try, I bought a Night Splint Sock. It took no more than a night to know that I was onto something that could help me manage my injury. Although my tendon injury has been mostly resolved, I continue to sleep with my Night Splint Sock. In fact, I now use one for both feet. I find that my feet, Achilles, and calves feel better in the morning after I have slept in my Night Splint Socks. Because they have worked for me and given me much relief, I feel very comfortable recommending the Night Splint Socks to other runners, walkers, and athletes. If you suffer from plantar fascia or Achilles soreness, then I suggest that you try the Night Splint Sock to see if it helps you as much as it has me.
Sincerely, Bruce Deacon Olympic Marathoner (1996 and 2000)
Westcoast Orthopedic Labs congratulates the 3 Elite women wearing our orthotics in the ITU Nike Victoria International Triathlon on June 29, 2003: Gillian Moody of Canada (3rd), Tereza Macel of the Czech Republic (10th), and Jen MacLean of Canada (25th) in a strong international field over the Olympic distance.
These are some of the more famous people that have tried at least 1 of our products: Greg Barber, Chris Bastie, Chris Bateman, John Botelo, Thalia Castillo, Garth Cooke, Mike Creary, Brad Cunningham, Kelly Dukeshire, Josh Elsdon, Jim Finlason, Dr. Jason Gray, Ann Griffin, Kelly Guest, Al Hienman, Anne-Mette Jakobsen, Dr. Alain LeBlanc, Dr. Judith Leroy, Harvy Li, Torben Lind, Kelly Lijebald, Tereza Macel, Dr. Lynne MacKean, Jen MacLean, Patrick Maguire, Dr. Julia Martorama, Paddy McCluski, Paul McNamara, Dr. David Mick, Gillian Moody, Dr. Charles Nelson, Mark Nelson, Chris Price, Laura Reeback, Rob Reid, Debbie Scott, Dr. Kate Sears, Scott Sexton, Dr. Nicholas Shah, David Smit, Lucy Smith, Melissa Spooner, Mike Suminski, Jim Wiggins, and Jerry Ziak.
Just a quick update on my recent progress. Since coming back from Flagstaff and training with a great group of All-Americans, I have continued to bring my running to a new level. I won the Victoria half marathon, which was my main goal this year in 1:08:24, which was a new PB. This past weekend was a large jump for me as well, as I won the Tucson, AZ half marathon in 1:07:00. Unfortunately, a very slow first 2 miles held me back from going faster, but now I have some room to reach my next goal. Thanks for all your support and all the best over the holiday season.
A most happy vacation
Coming to Tucson this time of year has its natural attractions. Count running as one of them for Half-Marathon winner Nik Southwell of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He was tempted to do more. "I considered running the full marathon. But I'm trying to focus on the Houston Marathon next month and I want to make sure I have the leg speed," said Southwell, 32, who jokingly introduced himself as "from Canad-eh." Southwell, a former pro triathlete and a butcher by trade, came to do a personal half-marathon best and he succeeded (at 1:07:02) by a minute. He is intrigued by the idea of becoming the first runner to win the full and half in different years. "This is a great race," he said. "I'm definitely coming back."
Bryan Lee at the Tucson Citizen
Thank you so much, your Night Splint Sock has been the only thing that improved my plantar faciitis. I have been trying to get relief from the pain for months: rest, orthotics, ice, analgesics, chiropractor, podiatrist, not going barefoot, stretches, yoga...Nothing gave more than a slight improvement, if any. I have now worn the splint three nights and I am almost compleatly pain-free for the first time in MONTHS! I had a dramatic improvement after the first night.
Hi Bruce! How are you doing? I just wanted to drop you a quick line and thank you...again! I can't believe what a difference these orthotics are making! I am running without pain (my foot is sometimes still a bit sore in the first 5 or 10 minutes - but I just need to stop and stretch). My coach has noticed how much better my foot strike looks as well AND I'm running faster than I was this time last year (and this is with a lot less actual 'run training' under my belt - lets just hope it's enough to hold me through a whole race!). Speaking of which, I actually leave next Tuesday to begin my 'racing binge' - doing the Gravenhurst time trial as a 'test' triathlon the weekend before Corner Brook World Cup. Then off to Edmonton, then back to Ontario for Caledon, then finally in early August, I'll be back in Victoria. Thank you so much for all of your help - those night socks are also helping I think! Oh, I meant to ask you - what do you suggest I use in my lightweight racing shoes? I remember you mentioned that you may be able to do a lighter orthotic if need be? Do you think that would help in my case, or should I stick with those red ones in my race shoes? Let me know what you think. Hey, how did you finish up in the NB 1/2 IM? I saw you on the bike course - I was with Jen (McLean) and Brad (Cunningham) cheering everyone on! What an exciting day! Anyways, I hope all is well, and keep in touch!
Lynne Herman: I am absolutely addicted to my Westcoast Orthotics! I wear my shoes with them inside from the time I arise in the morning until I climb back into bed at night. I had ruined the arch in one of my feet at the gym and my ankle was constantly swollen. Westcoast custom-makes my supports to allow for the differences between my two feet and that allows me to walk through the day without worrying about swelling at night. I had purchased some insoles that my local podiatrist had made for me, but they did nothing to correct the pronation of my feet. I gave him the address for the Westcoast Orthopedic Labs website during my final visit. I haven't had to return for taping or pain/swelling prescriptions for the past 3 years!
I have used Orthlab.com orthotics for several years now and they have completely eliminated the hip, back, and knee pain that I used to experience while running. These orthotics have proved to be an incredibly valuable part of my workout regimen and I would recommend them highly. Running pain-free is a beautiful thing and I have Orthlab.com to thank for it!
New York, NY
In Spring of 2002, a pair of my shoes was stolen from a communal shoe-closet at the entrance to a dormitory in the city of Seoul, South Korea. More significant than the loss of the shoes themselves was the custom-made orthotics inside of them, which I had made in Kansas City after experiencing knee problems during a marathon in 1982, and learning from this experience all about high pronation and the consequences of this condition on the body, from ankles through knees to lower back. I had had the same pair of rigid (some-thousand dollar) orthotics since 1982, and one can imagine the anxiety I felt on being without them, to think some thief who had no concept of high pronation was wearing them around in the bottom of a pair of my rotten sneakers. I continued to run mornings on lovely South Mountain in Seoul, but could feel the settling of joints in legs and back that felt like a slide toward disaster. Consulting the internet, by nothing more than chance I came into contact with Orthlabs and Bruce Turcotte to order a pair of replacement orthotics. Mr. Turcotte was attentive and accomodating, and without making an impression we simply went by whatever specifications I could give about my shoe size, orthopedic problem, and running style, and in only a few days—from Canada to Seoul—the orthotics arrived. Accustomed as I was to the rigid orthotic, I was wary at first about the softness of those prepared by Orthlabs. However, after a full three years of comfortable support, I am ordering two more pair from Orthlabs. I have run, hiked, and walked many miles under all weather conditions on the pair I received in 2002, and only now are the heels beginning to wear down. Because of their prompt and friendly service, and the comfortable support and durability provided by their product, I turn to Orthlabs again without hesitation.
I'm back for a third and fourth pair of orthotics. My right foot never healed properly from a stress fracture a couple of years ago. After 3 months in a cast, it still felt like I was stepping down on a large stone with every single step. Without the orthotic, my foot still feels uncomfortable and walking any distance is impossible. I don't jog, run, skip or jump, but this wonderful orthotic allows me to walk, which is the only exercise I truly enjoy. The orthotic is in my footwear from the moment I step out of bed, throughout the day, and is the last thing taken off before retiring for the night.
I just completed a two month reno on a home in Edmonton and was able to step up and down a step ladder daily with absolutely no pain...as long as the orthotic was in place. My wife and I are planning on a walking tour of England for a month this spring and I am going with complete confidence in my orthotics. I highly recommend the orthotic to anyone experiencing foot problems that won't go away.
Several years ago when I began having hurt feet because of very low arches, I shopped around for remedies. After trying several different kinds of orthotics, including some well-known brandnames, I discovered Westcoast Orthopedic Labs on the internet. Compared with competitive products that I had seen advertised, the cost of Westcoast's orthotics was very low. I gave it a try. After receiving the orthotics and using them in my shoes, I was immediately impressed with the absence of pain in my feet. I have never looked back. Not only did I find an excellent product but I also found a business owner who really cares about the service he gives. I have always been completely satisfied with the service Westcoast Orthopedic Labs gives to its customers.
My 11 year-old daughter just loves the skating orthotics that we ordered from you a year ago. She was having knee pain because of her fallen arches. Ever since she started to wear your orthotics, she has never complained about knee pain again. As an added bonus, her figure skating skills have also improved tremendously. I was apprehensive when I first placed the order as to how the orthotics would fit in the skates. After all, the only information I gave you was the size and brand of her skates. To our amazement, the orthotics fit perfectly and were also very comfortable. I also appreciated the fact that you took the time to go to the local skating shop to make sure the fitting was correct. To this day, my daughter will not wear her skates without the orthotics from Westcoast Orthopedic Laboratories.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
August 18 - Mike Suminski of Victoria, BC finishes the Leadville 100-miler in 28:05:52! Well done, Mike! He was 100th overall and 7th in his age group. Mike races and trains using the Sport Supporter. Mike used to suffer with plantar fasciitis before using the Sport Supporter for his high arches.
My partner Bob Kerr kept raving to me about his new soft orthotics, so I decided to try them, too. Prior to meeting Bruce, my current orthotics didn't seem to be working. I had a chronic, tight hip that progressively got worse with the amount of volume on the bike & run needed for the Ironman distance. No amount of physio, massage, chiro, acupuncture, yoga—I tried it all—seemed to help. The day I received my new orthotics, I noticed a huge difference in my legs not being so tired standing at work. The orthotics also showed an increase in power output on the bike, shown by Computrainer Spin scan—both legs had the same power output. I also noticed a huge change in my running efficiency and recovery. I'm running faster, cycling with more power, have increased my lower leg flexibility and have been absolutely injury-free this 2005 season. I trust Bruce with his knowledge, expertise, and years of experience to develop such a superior product for performance enhancement in any athlete.
Professional long-course triathlete
Mark Nelson born in Victoria, BC. Currently running for the University of Victoria Vikes. 2001 BC High School Championships Bronze Medallist (800m). 2001 BC Junior 800m Champion. 2001 National Junior Championships 800m (13th). 2000 BC High School Cross Country Championships (24th).
Mark uses the Lord Ziak Power Arch Straps and Orthotics by Westcoast Orthopedic.
As a professional triathlete, my health is one of the more important things in my life. So you can understand how frustrated I have been in the last half year as I have been struggling to fight off a foot/knee injury. I have had to back off the intensity and see my physio regularly. My performances have been good but I haven’t been able to race up to my potential. I heard about Westcoast Orthopedic Laboratories through my local running shoe shop. I knew a bunch of people using their orthotics with great success. Being an orthotic user myself, I went home and analyzed the three pairs I own. All of them worked on completely different principles but my favourite pair had a little more in common with the Westcoast orthotic. I got a pair built for me and I noticed an immediate improvement. My feet were no longer the limiting factor to my training. I was able to train harder and longer than I had in a while. At my next big race, the Corner Brook World Cup Triathlon, I had one of my best runs in the last two years and cracked to top ten overall on the world’s hardest triathlon course against some of the world’s best. I have been so pleased that I have recently got Westcoast to build me a set of orthotics for my cycling shoes.
Canadian National Triathlon Champion (2000)
Stefan Jakobsen of Nanaimo, BC brought his level of triathlon up a notch in 2001, finishing 3rd in the ITU points race in Victoria, BC to Simon Whitfield and Greg Bennet. Stefan also finished 22nd in the ITU World Cup in Toronto, 21st at ITU World Cup in Newfoundland, 4th at the Canadian Triathlon Championships, and qualified for the 2001 World Triathalon Championships. Stefan is 2002 champion of the Ullers Winter Triathlon in Penticton, Canada (skate skiing, snowshow running, and mountain biking) and is now focusing on the ITU race in Victoria, which is the Canadian qualifier for the Commonwealth Games.
Stefan trains using the Lord Ziak Power Arch Straps and the secret training food, Cozy Shack Pudding.
Here are some of my results for 2001: San Diego Sr. Olympics, 6 gold medals (80m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 2000m steeple chase, high jump, long jump, javelin); Canadian National Track & Field Championships (Toronto), gold in high jump and 80m hurdles; American National Track & Field Championships (Baton Rouge), gold in 2000m steeplechase, silver in 400m hurdles, bronze in 80m hurdles; World Masters Championships (Brisbane, Australia), 7th place in 2000m steeplechase; Victoria Dogwood Meet, gold in 80m hurdles, gold in 400m hurdles, gold in 1500m steeplechase; Club West (Santa Barbara), 8 gold medals (80m hurdles, 400m hurdles, 100m relay, long jump, 2000m steeplechase, high jump, discuss, javelin); California District Track & Field Championships, USATF, gold in 100m, gold in 80m hurdles, gold in 400m hurdles; Visalia, California, Masters Track & Field Classic, gold in 80m hurdles, silver in 300m hurdles, gold in 400m.
LA Quinta, CA
Nancy runs using the Cushion Orthotic and a special racing flat/spike orthotic.
I starting wearing Bruce's orthotics about 10 years ago, when I was experiencing knee and ankle problems from my pronating feet. Not only do I wear them in my runners, but also in my figure skates. They've helped to correct my problems, and have allowed me to continue with my career as a professional figure skater with Disney On Ice. For the past 8 years, I have been fortunate enough to travel not only in Canada and the United States, but also in many different countries overseas. I've managed to survive through extensive hours of rehearsals and some grueling show schedules, and I'm not sure this would have been possible if I had not been wearing orthotics. Bruce has been very helpful in accommodating me while I am away for months at a time and I really appreciate that! I have also introduced my parents to Bruce's orthotics and I highly recommend and encourage anyone with back, knee, or feet problems to try them! I look forward to continue on having happy feet as we head out on our next tour to Europe!
I have been playing rugby for 8 years, and for most of that time I have suffered from shin splints and other types of lower leg pain. I have tried several different types and brands of orthotics in the past, but it was not until I began using Westcoast Orthopedic's Cushion Orthotic that I was able to play pain-free. I not only use Westcoast orthotics in my rugby shoes, but I also use them in my running shoes and work boots as well.
Member of Pacific Sport National Rugby Team (2002)
Jerry Ziak of Courtenay, BC has had a great year. This season, Ziak finished 1st overall in the field of 408 competitors at the Willamette Invitational in Salem, Oregon. Ziak completed the 8k course in a blistering 24:06. Ziak also defeated the defending CIS champion Jamie Epp from the University of Saskatchewan at the Vikes New Balance Invitational in Victoria. Jerry finished 1st at the CIAU Cross-Country Championships.
Jerry runs using the Lord Ziak Power Arch Straps.
May 6, 2001. 2:29:21 Vancouver Marathon, 6th place overall.
Paddy runs using the Lord Ziak Power Arch Straps.
So happy with my run at the Seattle Marathon! I thank you for working with me to get the orthotics fitting just right! You helped me cross the line completely injury-free in the feet! And you were right, I was well-rested and ended up having a great run. Did I mention how many/big the hills are in Seattle? Was best not to know! Thanks again!
I have been most impressed with your soft orthotics. I am General Medical Practitioner in England and keen long distance runner. I have used full-length rigid orthotics for the past 6 yrs since developing iliotibial band problems after assessment by a local sports podiatrist. I must admit I always thought soft orthotics were not for the "serious athlete." However, after reading the work of Nigg and Cornwall & McPoil, I thought I would give them a try. The orthotics seem to support my feet better by allowing them to sink into them slightly. I have always felt it was possible to "turn" in my rigid orthotics even with my running shoes laced up tightly.
Dr. Nicholas Shah
I can’t thank you enough for the first pair of orthotics you made for me. Ever since I started wearing my new orthotics I have remained injury-free. In the last year I have completed three triathlons, a half marathon and numerous 10km road races without any leg or hip pain. I can’t thank you enough! (Although, I think my physiotherapist and chiropractor may be missing me!). These orthotics are the most important part of my workout gear.
I have been a client of Bruce’s for the past 5 years. I got my first pair of custom-made orthotics for pronation, shin splints, and generally sore feet. Within days, my shins and feet felt comfortable and supported. But like most people, procrastination is my middle name. So when the balls of both my feet started hurting 6 months ago, I thought it was from my first attempts at jogging. I was thrilled to be able to run for the first time in my life without shin splints, but my foot pain was discouraging. And I wondered if this was something that I would have to live with the rest of my life. Bruce told me that my metatarsal bones needed support and set about designing custom-made orthotics to correct this problem. They were instantly comfortable from the moment I put them in my shoes. I’ve now had 5 days of wearing them and my feet only hurt for the first 5-10 min of walking in the morning. For the rest of the day, there is NO pain. My job requires me to be on my feet—walking and running after children—all day. My feet feel so improved that I forget they used to constantly hurt me. I will be getting a 2nd pair for my slippers. AND I am now looking forward to getting back into jogging again soon. Thank you so much Bruce for helping me improve the quality of my life.