Wednesday, March 30, 2005

WCBS Story Excerpt: Gel Cushion Equals Z-CoiL Step Softness

Dr. Stuart Hirsch, Biosport Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Associates, Member American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons stated in the WCBS-TV story that:

Gel cushions would provide equal cushioning with a smaller substance than a big wired spring

ApexFoot makes several gel cushions like the Anti-Shox® Sports Orthotics.
Anti-Shox Sports Orthotics are designed to absorb shock, comfort the foot, and prevent sports related injuries. The orthotics are biomechanically designed to support the longitudinal arch and reduce stress on the ball-of-the-foot. Anti-Shox Sports Orthotics also feature a patented heel cushion to relieve heel pain, and Anti-Shox Gel for extra protection in the areas most susceptible to pain.

Spenco® Performance Gel Insoles set the standard in gel insoles. The dual density Thermo Polyurethane Rubber gel combines superior cushioning and energy return where the foot needs it the most. Correct arch support provides for a better overall fit, comfort and performance while the true heel cupping gives extra cushioning and stability to the heel. The Slip-Resist design helps keep the insole in place while the antimicrobial top cloth helps eliminate odor causing bacteria and reduces friction. With an unconditional one-year guarantee, the Spenco® Performance Gel insoles provide activated energy that lasts from start to finish. Seven sizes fit youth, men's 6-15, women's 3-10 Price: $14.99

Dr. Scholl's® Massaging Gel Insoles (See TV Ad)

  • Comfort - Made with the softest gel you can buy.
  • Cushioning - Provides up to 2X more cushioning and shock absorption than other gel insoles.
  • Massaging Wave Action - Acts like tiny springs to absorb shock.
    Use in sneakers, casual and dress shoes.

I am seeking comments from individuals that can compare the "cushioning" of gel cushion inserts Dr. Hirsch was referring to and Z-CoiLs. - Seeing is Believing


JOlmsted said...

My response to the statement made by Dr. Hirsch is more one of common sense. How would a 1/4 inch gel cushion, which provides no stability whatsoever, possibly deliver the equal heel strike absorption and cushioning as an engineered tempered steel coil that is attached to a rigid orthotic built into the Z-Coil footwear.

Dr. Hirsch obviously has little experience with Z-Coil footwear.

Dr. Frank Zappa, DPM
Chicago, IL

JOlmsted said...

It is unfortunate that Dr. Hirsch did not take the time to investigate and understand the product. It is clearly evident from his remarks, and total lack of acknowledgement of the independent lab testing, that he does not understand or care to understand the profound differences in the footwear and how they can help people in pain. I hope he is not as narrow minded and dogmatic with all his approaches to healing with his patients.

For example, "Gel cushions would provide equal cushioning with a
> smaller substance than a big wired spring"

---Independent lab testing shows a 50% reduction in shock--show me one study that says gel cushions do that and I'll east my shirt. Properly adjusted, you can feel the difference; it is like night and day. It decreases the impact, and also spreads your impact out over a longer time span. ASK THE FINE DOCTOR WETHER HE THINKS HE SHOULD USE GEL INSERTS IN HIS CAR. THEY ARE JUST AS EFFECTIVE RIGHT DOCTOR?

Another comment I find uneducated is "the elevated heel may cause more problems for people." Not sure if he said this or someone else in the report. The "elevated heel" is only an optical illusion. Your foot is actually quite level in the shoe (depending on your spring size and setting) due to the 1 inch forefoot cushioning and the fact that your foot sinks in the spring. If he took the time to play with the variability of the spring he would have noticed that you could spin it, thus placing the strong side of the spring in 4 different places. There are also s, m. l, and XL springs for those of different weights. Such variability even allows you counter act pronation, supination, leg length differences.....

I am by no means saying that Zcoils are a panacea, capable of helping everyone in foot leg and back pain. But in the 13 years I've been a therapist I've met no one product that is its equal. Dr. Hirsch has his opinions. I'm sure he works hard and is good at what he does however on this he is dead wrong. I've helped people I could have never helped this much with Physical Therapy alone. I have other orthopedic surgeons wearing the shoes and they will not live without them.

I would welcome a chance to discuss the product with him and help him understand it fully.

Terry McKeon,
Physical Therapist
Greenfield, MA