Orthopedic shoe inserts: FSA Eligibility
No prescription required.
What are orthopedic shoe inserts?
An orthopedic shoe insert is also known as a foot orthosis. It can be used for a number of purposes ranging from comfort, food and joint pain relief due to arthritis, overuse, and injuries. Orthopedic shoe inserts are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account if it's specifically to treat, alleviate or prevent a medical condition or disease. The most common orthopedic shoe insert is an arch support. There are also heel cups which are designed to absorb shocks, full-length inserts, etc (American Podiatric Medical Association).
What are arch supports?
Arch supports are a type of shoe insert meant to provide additional foot support to individuals who were born with a foot profile that features high arches. These arch supports generally have a more bulbous look than other traditional shoe inserts, as they are meant to provide additional support to the foot's arch. Shoe inserts like arch supports refer to any kind of non-prescription foot support meant to be inserted into a shoe. A product is prescribed by a doctor and manufactured for a specific foot shape, it is referred to as a custom orthotic device (Shoes-n-Feet).
What are high arches?
High arches, also known as Cavus Foot, is a condition where the foot's central arch is much higher than normal. This shape has adverse effects on the heel and ball of the foot, which absorb far more weight than a flatter foot that would better distribute this weight. High arches are often caused by neurologic disorders or other conditions like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, polio, muscular dystrophy or a structural abnormality that comes from an individual's genetics. However, if high arches are caused by a neurologic disorder or other medical condition, it will progressively worsen, while those that do not will maintain the same pronation over time (American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons).
The irregular shape of a foot with high arches can lead to myriad health issues, including pain when standing or walking, increased calluses on the ball and heel of the feet, hammertoes and other irregular toe positioning and an increased propensity to ankle sprains and muscle pulls from the unstable nature of the foot's shape.