More about Georg Alzner...
Georg Alzner, the inventor of the Alznner® arch support, was a master orthopedic shoe designer. Born in Romania, Mr. Alzner began his training as a therapist in 1936 and graduated in 1942 as an orthopedist and physiotherapist. He went to West Germany to continue his studies and in 1948 he received his master’s degree as an orthopedic foot specialist.
Although he engineered many different shoe designs, he was frustrated that the orthopedic shoes he and others designed were not delivering the therapeutic results he desired. Having worked with people in pain for many years, he eventually concluded that shoes alone would not solve their problems.
It also became apparent to him that a large proportion of the population was engaged in trades or professions that placed a great deal of strain on the foot. He felt that poorly fitted shoes and standing improperly often resulted in an unnatural development of the foot, bringing about long lasting and painful problems.
With this background, and after twenty years of observation and working with thousands of people with and without foot problems, he had a critical insight: if an arch support could be designed that modeled the ideal human foot, it might help the abnormal foot by providing a “model” for it to copy. It would have the further benefit of helping the problem foot maintain correct biomechanical function by supporting the many arches of the human foot.
Mr. Alzner worked for many years on the design and testing of his new arch supports, much of that work done slowly and carefully by hand, since few mechanical or computational tools available to him. His goal was a functional device that would not merely placate or accommodate the improperly functioning foot, but completely realign the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons, giving the individual a superior foundation upon which to build further therapy.
In 1965, he felt he had achieved his goal and applied to the Canadian patent office for a patent on the arch support, which he knew was unique because it provided support for all four arches, offered ventilation for the plantar (bottom) surface of the foot, and created a beneficial massaging action during walking. The Canadian government awarded Mr. Alzner his patent in 1969. This was the first patent ever issued for this type of product. Over the next several decades, the product proved itself again and again by helping hundreds of thousands of people. It continues to do so today.
Not surprisingly, given his holistic approach to health, Mr. Alzner was also very interested in deep muscle massage and founded a school in London, Ontario, Canada to practice and teach. After working in hospitals for many years, treating hundreds of people suffering from foot and leg and back problems, he saw that this approach, in addition to good shoes and supports, could also provide benefit.
His personal philosophy and conviction was that when one member of the human family suffers, all suffer. He felt the same way about the body as a whole with its many parts. Each part is closely dependent upon the others for proper functioning and vitality. A major impetus for his research into the structure and function of the foot was the incredible number of quality of life problems, such as chronic leg and knee pain, back ache, and postural abnormalities that could be traced back to problems in the very foundation of the human body, the feet.
“The body functions as one unit, [and] if one member of the body does not function well, the whole body suffers. By treating the whole body, not just one part, we can alleviate the problem”.
- Georg Alzner