Top Ten Arch Support Myths

woman with arch support

Don't be fooled by these top ten arch support myths and misconceptions. You need to be aware of these important facts regarding arch supports (orthotics).

Here are the top ten arch support myths you need to know about:

  1. They are all alike. Most arch supports (orthotics) are all alike. Aside from the size in length, the overall shape and size are much the same from one arch support to another. That is, they are built for a one size fits all that size. They are not manufactured for the variations found in the general population. They are not custom made. Every foot is as different as your fingerprints. No two feet are the same, have the same muscular structure, the same shape of the toes or the same function. You need to look for custom made orthotics that are built according to specifications taken from your foot mold or casting.
  2. More expensive arch supports are no better than cheaper types. Almost all of the time you get what you pay for. Cheap orthotics are cheap. They are made of inferior materials that don't withstand day-to-day wear and tear. They have little or no shock absorption. They are not may uniquely made for you. And they are not backed with a great guarantee.
  3. Rigid orthotics are better than semi-rigid or flexible arch supports. Not so. Try walking or running with a rigid knee or ankle brace. Pretty awkward and cumbersome isn't it? Now imagine using rigid arch supports in your shoes that is suppose to support or should allow for more normal foot function. It doesn't make much sense does it? Nature made your feet to have all those separate bones, joints, ligaments and muscles to possess optimal function. All a rigid orthotics does is restrict or prevent your foot to function as nature intended.
  4. Arch supports have no affect on lower back pain. Remember the old song verse: "The toe bone is connected to that foot bone. The foot bone's connected to the ankle leg bone. The leg bone is connected to the hip bone. The hip bone is connected to the back bone." Every body part affects every other body part. When you put shoes on and use orthotics those shoes and orthotics actually become part of your feet. With pronation or flat feet comes pelvic tilt. This pelvic tilt will stress the low back discs, muscles, and joints. A proper foundation will improve pronation and foot function which intern will affect the structural alignment of your lower back and its function.
  5. They will not balance or level a pelvic tilt. Here's a simple test. Roll your left foot slightly outward so you are standing more on the outer side of your left foot. At the same time role your right foot inward causing more weight to be born on the inside of your right foot. Notice how the right side of your pelvis has dropped. If you have more pronation on one side your pelvis will drop to that side. Also if you have pronation of both feet your pelvis will actually tilt forward and exaggerate your lower back lordosis or curvature.
  6. Arch supports will just make your feet hurt. Actually the opposite is true. In the long-term they will help to prevent foot pain and your feet will feel less tired and achy, especially at the and of the day. A good pair of orthotics will add needed support were support has been lacking. Your feet will need to adapt to the new normal support. So a good set of arch supports will require a 30 to 45 day breaking in period.
  7. Children do not need arch supports. Do not deprive your child of quality orthotics. The problem we develop in adulthood, such as hip arthritis, knee arthritis and low back degeneration or disc disease is most often traced back to years and years of abnormal joint wear and tear due to injury and misalignment. The earlier proper structural alignment is developed and maintained the less degenerative arthritis will occur throughout your life. It may take 20 or more years of flat feet and pronation to start exhibiting joint pain and degeneration. One thing I have encountered in my 33 years of clinical practice is the so-called "growing pains" in children. A child should never feel pain from growth. When there is pain in a child's lower back, hips, knees and feet always look to the feet as the cause as you rule-out other diseases and conditions.
  8. Arch supports do not need to be used all of the time. Would you drive your car with proper wheel and front end alignment and balanced tires just some of the time and think it's not important 100% of the time? No. Would you support a sagging floor 50% of the time and the other 50% remove the support and not expect structural damage to occur? Of course not. Why would you think it's okay to only support your feet and body less than 100% of the time? You wouldn't. Arch supports, if needed, are needed 100% of the time to manage support and function to minimize stress and, wear and tear associated with activities of daily living.
  9. You do not need arch supports because your shoes already have them in when you purchase them. No shoes, unless they are purposely custom-made from casting your feet, will have an arch support already present in them. What is present when you purchase shoes are insoles or liners that have the false appearance of an arch support. That factory insole is nothing more than a cover over the top of the shoe sole. It affords no arch support especially a support that meets your individual needs.
  10. Arch supports will in time correct your flat feet and excess pronation. Therefore, there will come a time when you you won't need them. Pronation and flat feet are permanent. Arch supports do what their name states... they support the arch. They are not called arch correction devices. If the arch is not supported adequately throughout your lifetime they will constantly be undergoing continuing collapse and the flat feet and pronation will only become worse. So it is essential that arch supports be used over your entire lifetime in order to halt or slow down structural damage and dysfunction of your feet, knees, hips, lower back and the entire body for that matter.

So there you have it: The top ten arch support myths. Never compromise on your health. The amount you save today when purchasing inferior arch supports may cost you thousands later... not to mention years of pain, suffering and lost quality of life.

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