If you find it difficult to stand on your toes, your feet tires quickly, and often become swollen, you may have flat feet. Also known as fallen arches, this refers to a condition where you have no arch on your foot or have a shallow one. The arc refers to the gap between the inner part of your foot and the floor when resting the soles of your feet flat on the ground.
In most cases, the condition is not severe enough to warrant treatment and most people opt to fit insoles for flat feet into their shoes. Such an insole helps the foot achieve a natural curve to ease the right pressure and improve your walking style.
What are fallen arches?
Tendons attach to the heel and the bones of the foot and the lower leg to form arches. A normal, moderate arch forms when all the tendons in the foot are all pulling together. On the flip side, if the ligaments aren’t stretching as firmly, the foot develops little to no arch, hence the name fallen arches.
In addition to aesthetic appeal, arches help distribute your body weight across your legs and feet and give a spring to your steps. The structure of the arches determines your walking style. As they are regularly subjected to various walking surfaces and varying degrees of stresses, arches must be sturdy yet flexible.
People with flat feet tend to overpronate, causing their feet to point forward because their feet often roll inwards as they walk or even when standing.
What causes fallen arches?
In adults, flat feet and fallen arches may be a genetic abnormality or as a result of torn or stretched tendons on the feet. Nerve problems, feet fracture, and inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon are other known causes. Ageing, pregnancy, obesity, and diabetes also increase the risk of having flat feet.
How do you treat flat feet?
Most people can get away with wearing shoes that provide excellent arch support and extra-wide shoes. Custom arch support and insoles relieve pressure off the arch, which then eliminates pain if your foot overpronates as you walk. However, such solutions only address the symptoms and won’t provide you with a lasting solution.
If suffering from posterior tibial tendonitis, inserting a wedge along the inside edge of the insole can offer some relief by reducing the amount of force exerted on tendon tissue. In the case of a ruptured tendon or arthritis, combining an insole with pain medication offers comfort. Surgical intervention is often seen as a measure of last resort when all else fails.
The arch on your foot influences the way you walk in addition to helping you balance your weight correctly as you walk. The absence of these arches might cause you pain and discomfort. Luckily, you can overcome this problem easily by beefing up arch support. Inserting a pair of flat feet insoles into your shoes and wearing extra wide shoes helps eliminate pain and discomfort. If such interventions still don’t relieve your pain, it’s time to consider seeking further medical attention from a qualified health professional.