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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dr. Scholls Propoganda

So here I am watching what I think is a great movie.  It's the move titled Contact with Jodie Foster and Tom Skerrit.  But what was more interesting or truthfully more irritating is the Dr. Scholls commercials shown during the movie.  Let me set the scene for you regarding the commercial: 

There is a man who is dancing through his house full of energy and vitality.  He has just come from the Dr. Scholls kiosk in the drugstore.  It's at this kiosk in which he stepped on to a platform and his feet were assessed for areas of weight bearing in a standing position.  After the machine finishes with its analysis it recommends an orthotic for his "abnormal" or "dysfunctional feet".  He's assigned a number that coincides with a specific orthotic that will turn his life around and return him to full vitality and a pain free existence with an infinite amount of energy and stamina.  His son  and wife don't even recognize him when he comes home because he's dancing around the house and is full of vim and vigor.  There is then a moment in the commercial in which the kiosk is shown.  On each side of the kiosk there are about 10 - 12 pairs of varying orthotics on each side of the kiosk.  These orthotics are the answer to all of your foot pain, leg pain, hip pain, and lower back pain as mentioned in the commercial.  WOW!  This is incredible revolutionary stuff!  (sarcasm).  
What Dr. Scholl has just stated is that there is only 20 - 24 different types of feet in the world.  There are only 20 - 24 different types of problems that people have with their feet.  This means that out of all the people in the world, if everyone stood on one of these kiosks, had their feet categorized and then assigned a number that coincides with an orthotic, your back pain, leg pain, and foot pain, will in a near instant be resolved.  What this commercial also does is strongly imply that if you have back pain then it's coming from your feet.  If you use orthotic number such and such your back pain will go away.  Super (again, sarcasm)!

Now I could go on and on about all the causes of back pain.  The number one cause of back pain is being physically deconditioned, you know, being sedentary, out of shape.  Your hip, abdominal, and trunk muscles are weak, proper body mechanics are not being used, being overweight or obese, etc.

Now just think, if people were to engage in even a small amount of structured physical exercise.  Back pain significantly decreases.  I've been eye witness to this over more than two decades of being in a clinic treating patients for back pain.  And guess what?  Not one of these patients wore a Dr. Scholls foot orthotic.

I guess the reason why I wrote this impromptu entry on my blog is that the propaganda that Dr. Scholls uses to sell their wares for pain free feet and back pain just plainly pisses me off!  They make a generalization that it's your feet causing hip and back pain.  They make a generalization that all feet are dysfunctional and need improving upon.  Dr. Scholls plays on peoples naiveness to pay a large amount of money that is 99% of the time unnecessary and unwarranted.

I will concede on one point.  Poor foot mechanics can cause hip and back pain.  However, your feet are not built wrong!  Weakness that affects foot mechanics always starts up stream in the hip, thigh, knee, leg, and or ankle.  If you have read my prior posts, the foot is the last structure to be affected by poor joint function and muscle weakness upstream in the body.

My advice is:
Go to the source that is causing your back pain, hip pain, knee pain, or foot pain.  Don't just treat the symptom as Dr. Scholl is encouraging you to do!  By band-aiding the problem, larger problems loom ahead in the near future.

Oh how I really, really, really, dislike false propaganda which misleads people when regarding the wellness of a person especially when it's for a monetary profit.  Knowledge is power and power is knowledge.  It is this that I'm devoted to.  Giving you the real and relevant information to make educated decisions in your well being.

As usual, you can email me with any questions or concerns.   

Happy Bipeding!

Brad Senska, PT, DPT, BS, ASTYM.

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