The Fallacy of Arch Supports

orthotic-picture1

Have you been told you need foot surgery? Have you been failed by physical therapy? Orthotics (shoe inserts)? Podiatry (cortisone injections)? Have you been told surgery is your last option?

Please let me share three things I’ve learned as a 15 year military expert on foot mechanics, pain and dysfunction:

  • There is nothing a foot surgery can’t make worse
  • You can’t “unsurgery”
  • Foot surgery is like a potato chip….hard to stop at one

Step 1
Why did conventional physical therapy fail you?
You were treated with modalities (ultrasound, heat, electrical therapy), stretching, strengthening and balancing exercises…you may have received massage or myofascial release. You probably did get some relief but never complete and always temporary….why?
NONE of the above treatments addressed the cause of your pain….just the symptoms. Once your cause is addressed all of these treatments become amazingly effective!

Step 2
Next, you receive a cortisone injection. You may have felt great for hours, days or maybe months but gradually your symptoms returned and you were ready for your next injection and the next and the next. There are consequences to a single cortisone injection let alone multiple injections. Please do your research!

Lastly, this injection also fails to address the cause of your foot pain, the reason why your symptoms return eventually.

Step 3
Orthotics (shoe inserts)
these may be included as a part of physical therapy or podiatry treatments. Why have they failed you?

Failure 1: Your assessment

How detailed was your orthotic evaluation? Were your feet glanced at?
Maybe your health care provider watched you walk back and forth across a clinic floor. Maybe you just stepped in a foam box or had your foot casted.

My evaluation includes detailed assessment of your:

  • Current shoes and any inserts that either came in your shoes or were purchased separately
  • Static standing posture of your leg/ankle/foot. Static prone posture of your leg/ankle/foot
  • Dynamic (treadmill) barefoot multi directional gait analysis

 Failure 2: Your orthotic construction/development
The most common error? You’ve been fitted with an arch support. Your arch was NEVER designed to be a primary weight-bearing structure. An arch support does very little to correct the mechanics of your foot and that’s what has led to your foot pain, leg pain, knee pain or hip pain. To make matters worse the forced correction into your arch can be so uncomfortable that you won’t even wear them. On the rare occasion that your orthotic has a mechanical correction, it’s often based on a faulty or incomplete assessments. See Failure 1 above.
Lastly, your orthotic has been constructed of a rigid unforgiving plastic shell. This shell does not allow your foot to flex, adapt and function normally and can create another series of issues.

Step 4: Surgery
Don’t go here! Please let me see you first. My assessment is free . If I feel I can help you with orthotics, my average cost is only $85. Please read my testimonials on this website and Facebook.

LTC Tony Bare (ret), DPT, ATC, OCS
Physical Therapist
Laramie, WY

4 thoughts on “The Fallacy of Arch Supports

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