Arch supports

Arch support

An arch support is an appliance shaped in a manner to provide underside support to the feet. Proper design can eliminate foot or heel pain, or can eliminate pain elsewhere in the body.

Example of a foot support arch

History

The Alzner ((Effect) Theory: George Alzner stated that he developed an arch support designed to re-position the bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons of the foot to their proper place. His theory was that certain foot abormalities were caused, at least in part, by poor arch support and that these abnormalities could be fixed by restoring the foot to its natural position.

This theory is not widely accepted as valid by podiatrists. However, this theory is used as a design basis for a variety of foot supports that are manufactured today.

Structure and Function

Arch supports are commonly confused with an alternative foot product called “insoles," which offer added padding for shock absorption. By contrast, arch supports have a polypropylene shell that is flexible enough to provide comfort and rigid enough to support arches properly and restore foot structure to a natural position. The semi-rigid shell can be custom milled to fit individual feet structure using a medical foot casting system, or generic shape/sizes can be purchased based on foot size and arch height. In either case, the intent of an arch support is to support and control the muscles, ligaments and plantar fascia to prevent fatigue and strain due to hyperextension.

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