If you hear the term “snake oil salesman,” you might picture an old-timey man trying to sell fake cures in the Wild West—but these kinds of con artists still exist today! Instead of hawking their wares from the back of a wagon, though, they use celebrities to pitch products on television commercials. Even worse, they choose specific times—often the mid-afternoon or late at night—to target people they consider to be gullible enough to buy their lies.
Let’s use the story of a hypothetical, modern “snake oil salesman” to show you what we mean. In this example, we’ll take a shoe store and show how they are trying to fleece normal people who are suffering from lower limb pain. Since it’s better for our story if this completely fictitious store has a name, we’ll call it “The Bad Feet Store.”
Now, The Bad Feet Store uses professional athletes, coaches, and other celebrities to promote what they call “custom” orthotics. They promise these products will help improve your life, take away all pain, and make you more attractive. (Okay, maybe they don’t actually promise enhanced attractiveness, but hopefully you get the point.)
You might be thinking this sounds like an old saying – “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Well, we agree. More concerning, though, is the fact they sell these off-the-shelf arch inserts for $500-$600. For that kind of price, we think you should be getting a product that actually works! Unfortunately, you aren’t. And if you try to take back the inserts for a refund, you will quickly find they only exchange them for store credit. There are several other similar inserts that are available for $50-75 that come without the TV advertising.
Basically, the moral of our story is that if you want actual help for a health issue, including foot and ankle pain, your best source is a trained, accredited medical professional … always! We understand the science and review studies to ensure your treatments actually work for you. Remedies advertised on television, heard by a friend’s grandma, or read on the internet not only might be ineffective, but in some cases they are actually dangerous.
You can see what people have to say about some of the other options on sites like this, or you can just contact our Indianapolis foot doctor office to receive the care you need in the first place. Give us a call at (317) 545-0505 and we will be glad to provide additional information or set you up with an appointment. You can also connect with us through our online form right now!