“Arch Supports” vs Foot Orthotics
What is the difference? Do I need arch support? Do I need an orthotic? Do the store items work? Do I need one made specifically for me? Do I believe the hype, or realize that the truism “ If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”, fits?
There IS a difference; a vast difference in what is being sold on TV and by so many stores (both shoe stores and drug stores) and now even a store called G----f—t who “specializes” in cheap pre-made supports and charges 3 times what a prescription device does (with NO WARRANTY). Then there is the platform you stand on, found even in grocery stores, selling a “custom fit” device. Then there is a prescription made foot orthotic made by or on the prescription of a podiatric physician. You got your foot supports where, one aisle over from the bread???
Those sold by the tens of thousands in stores, at sometimes outrageous prices, are nothing more than simple arch supports or insoles. In their defense, it is unlikely they will do any harm other than to your pocket book (and sometimes the harm is pretty big). If you only need “a little cushion” they may be of some help.
The thing is, the advertising is frequently deceptive. Foot pain is big retail business, that is why you see a large area in many stores devoted to selling the best and latest pad, cream, lotion or in this case “orthotic”.
The retail devices are NEVER “custom” or even “custom fit”, they are premade, by the thousands. If I had a custom paint job on my car, I would expect it to be just that, custom, one of a kind; a custom suit, fit just for me. Not only are these devices not prescription they are not even custom, it’s a flat out lie.
Premade, over-the-counter supports are “static” devices, meaning they cushion or hold up the foot – that’s it, it is all they can do. It’s a “one size fits all” approach. Healing the foot, altering the function from abnormal to normal, from pain to pain-free requires a “dynamic” device, a true prescription device made specifically to your feet by obtaining a mold, or by getting a 3 dimensional, digital scan of the feet, with no weight on them. This is only done after an exam by a trained, qualified physician, determining what the source of the problem is (a diagnosis) and providing a specific device to correct the condition (treatment). This cannot be done by some kid at the running shoe store, by a store employee putting you on a tread mill with a fancy video trying to “guess” what the problem and solution might be, or by a sales person in a white coat “playing” doctor.
The feet are the foundation of the entire skeletal system. The foundation of one’s ability to walk, stand, run, work, or even to do nothing more than the simple activities of daily life. Turning over the care of them to Walmart hardly seems appropriate.
The premier providers of foot health are only found in podiatrists offices, specialty trained Physicians in care of the foot and ankle from all aspects. Skin to bone, medically, surgically and mechanically. No one understands or cares for your feet better, no one else is even close. Don’t your feet deserve the BEST?
Caveat Emptor? Latin for “buyer beware”.
Call us, we can help with real solutions for your foot health.