Top Ten Arch Support Myths
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- They will not balance or level a
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.
- Arch supports will just make your
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
- Children do not need arch
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
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