October 5

Buy This, Not That – Part III

Welcome back to “Buy This, Not That.”  In this last installment, let’s look at diabetic socks and over-the-counter inserts.

Diabetic socks come up in conversation a lot at my office.  These socks claim to be more comfortable and loose for swollen legs, protective in thickness, yet moisture-wicking.  These socks can be expensive.  They run about $10 a pair.  Frankly, if you need to control swelling, don’t buy diabetic socks, buy support hose instead.  Support hose are designed to prevent blood clots and ulcers from forming in the leg due to chronic swelling.  When shopping, look for socks that contain moisture-wicking materials; this will help keep your feet dry.  Buy support hose if necessary to provide you support to manage chronic swelling.

Lastly, over-the-counter inserts.  People ask if they should buy inserts or custom orthotics.  OTC inserts do have their place to treat minor aches and provide minimal support.  But if you have severe flat feet or high arches with persistent symptoms like arch pain, ankle pain, shin splints, knee pain, or lower back pain, then you need to see a foot doctor.  Custom functional orthotics are non-comparable.  They are prescribed to re-align, support, and address biomechanics that OTC products cannot address.  They have a functional role to return you to your activities and address the underlying cause of your problem.


Dr. Dang H. Vu is a highly rated Baltimore Podiatrist maintaining offices in Reisterstown and Towson for more than 15 years.  He works hard to gain the trust and confidence of his patients. Dr. Vu is proud of the high praise and positive reviews offered by his Baltimore patients. He is board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He is a member of the Maryland Podiatric Medical Association and the American Podiatric Medical Association.


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