What does lipstick have to do with feet anyway?
After an examination of your foot and watching you walk and sometimes looking at x-rays, Dr. Gary Prant DPM can determine with great accuracy where your foot needs to be balanced. Some people tell us that they have stood on a device in a store that shows pressure on their foot and recommends a particular type of shoe insert. At the Arbor Foot Health Center we have tried computerized pressure analysis and found it to be misleading and often not repeatable. Standing still on a pressure mat with your feet pointed straight ahead does not duplicate the ankle or the weight distribution that your foot experiences when you walk. Also, the image on a computer screen is a two dimensional representation of a three-dimensional object (your foot). The computerized pressure analysis does not show which joints are too loose or which joints are limited in their motion. Watching you walk and examining your foot can show us whether you have balanced leg lengths, the angle of your gait, angle that your legs make to the ground and many other important indications of the balance of your feet, and indeed your whole body.
So what’s the story about the lipstick? Cheap, bright colored lipstick is the ideal thing to use to mark areas on your foot that need to be accommodated by an insert. We are doing a lot of work with inexpensive over-the-counter inserts which we customize for your foot. Often these inserts are the same price as the inserts that are recommended when you stand on a computerized mat in a store. The inserts we make at the Arbor Foot Health Center are personally tested and selected by Dr. Prant for their efficacy and durability. After you try on the several inserts and determine which one feels the best for you, Dr. Prant marks your foot with the lipstick in the places he has determined which need balancing. The lipstick is used to make an impression on the insert. Dr. Prant then customizes the shoe insert for your foot. The result is an over-the-counter insert is comfortable and balances your feet – and usually superior to “orthotics” advertised on TV that cost $400! We find that patients often tell us that wearing their inserts helps their knees, hips, and even lower back. People often return for additional sets of inserts, which is the greatest compliment!