Off the Shelf Arch Supports

Drug Stores, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Happy Feet, Shoe Stores, Airplane Magazines, Late Night Infomercials

There are dozens upon dozens of retailers selling multiple styles and types of arch supports, all claiming “cushy feet, walking on clouds, Balance yourself, Level yourself, and Be Gellin'” among others.  One common theme among these arch supports is that of MARKETING.  I once attended a Home and Garden Show to find a booth with a lady selling plastic inserts out of a box.  Charging $75-80, she was explaining that her arch supports take the pressure off of the sciatic nerve, “which runs along the back, down in to the bottom of the heel.”  Lady, you were about 2-3 feet away from being correct.  The sciatic nerve is no where NEAR the heel, and there is no nerve that runs down the back, down in to the bottom of the heel.  Most off the shelf inserts also have one other marketing factor in common.  MOST are packaged in a way that you can’t squeeze them.  If you realized that the insert, sitting in the clear box, doesn’t have the ability to resist you squeezing on the foam rubber arch support, how in the world is it supposed to support your body weight?  Simply, IT CAN’T!

A good arch support is just that.  If you don’t have an arch, Jesus can’t give you one, let alone a shoe insert from a drug store.  I once treated a woman with severe rheumatoid arthritis, who bought a hard plastic arch support, after being advised that it would “give her an arch.”  She developed a pressure sore, requiring wound care to get it to heal. 

An arch support is just that, and if you don’t have an arch to support, IT ISN’T GOING TO HELP.  Moreover, it MUST be of a sturdy enough material to keep its shape when you stand on it, yet flexible enough to “give” when stressing it, such as when running or coming down stairs.  Many foot problems can be effectively treated with a good quality arch support.  If you can squeeze the arch support between your finger tips, bend it across the middle, or twist the insert, it is not likely to help!

You can’t find a better arch support than one that is custom molded to your foot, and the ONLY way to achieve this is with a custom orthotic from a podiatrist!

A custom orthotic functions to reduce, not remove, but reduce pressure in various areas of the foot, spreading body forces across the entire bottom of the foot.  Some insurance plans cover custom orthotics.  If you would like to determine if your insurance will cover orthotics, give us a call and we will find out!  Medicare and Medicaid will not cover custom molded orthotics.

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