Benefits of Wearing Arch Supports for Your Feet and Ankles
Updated January 30, 2024.
As our environments evolve, so have our feet. The result is more stress on less functional feet, leading to pain and discomfort. Using arch supports can help forestall this and provide more comfort for your feet.
Let’s consider what arch support is and the benefits it can offer, especially for supination and running.
What Is an Arch Support?
Put simply, an arch support orthotic is a type of insole that fits into your shoe and changes the way your foot operates. Whereas most regular shoes have replaced functionality with style and opted for flat soles, arch support insoles have extra padding where your arches will be. Thus an arch support goes into your shoe where your arch should naturally be.
Why Do We Need Arch Support?
Different people need arch support for different reasons. Generally, arch supports can help keep your body neutrally aligned, while for athletes, they reduce the risk of injury and improve performance.
Arch support can help people with high or low arches, flat feet, or that stand on their feet for long periods of time to maintain optimal comfort, relieve pain, and redistribute stress. A podiatrist can counsel you on why you need arch support.
Benefits of Arch Support for Supination
With supination, the ankles roll too far inward, causing flat feet. Supination places extra stress on the kinematic chain and leads to pain in all those regions.
With insoles for supination, you enjoy pain relief, foot support, and cushioning. These insoles also redistribute pressure in your feet, eliminating primary pressure points on the heel and ball of your foot. Consequently, this leads to a quicker resolution of the supination problems.
Benefits of Arch Support for Running
Arch supports can reduce the risk of injury in runners. Without orthotics, runners are more likely to sustain various injuries, including tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, shin splints, and heel, knee, and lower back pain.
With running orthotics, your foot is well supported. This limits abnormal pronation, prevents arch collapse, aids shock absorption, and reduces the possibility of overloading your feet, legs, knees, and lower back.
Moreso, it will minimize the uneven wear pattern associated with running shoes.
FAQs About Arch Support
How Long Should You Wear Arch Support?
The answer varies from person to person. If you're always on your feet, it's advised you wear the arch supports as long as you are active. Closely related to orthotics for active use is orthotics for flat feet. In such cases, orthotics help alleviate pain and need to be worn constantly, as long as you’re on your feet. Whereas with conditions like rigid flat feet, you should only wear them as often as possible. Overall, it may be best to get a custom-made insole if you’re unsure how long to wear your arch supports. Podiatrists who design the custom insole will also tell you how to use your arch supports.
Can There Be Too Much Arch Support?
Absolutely. If the arch support increases your pain after use, you need to reevaluate either your condition or your inserts. Too much arch support can mean you’re using it for too long or wearing an insole that provides more support than your foot needs. A custom insole can help avoid these pitfalls. In addition, a quick rule to live by is that new inserts will likely be strange and uncomfortable at first, but they should never cause more pain.
Can Wearing Arch Support Solve Your Foot Pain?
Wearing orthopaedic arch supports can help in the treatment and prevention of many foot conditions. While some conditions are incurable, much of the pain can be mediated with the right support, whereas other mild conditions can be cured in this manner. If you have a painful or uncomfortable condition, it can't hurt to book an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss how getting arch support can help you.
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