Do you suffer from a condition called flat feet, overpronation, or “fallen arches”? Are you thinking about getting arch support to ease the pain from this condition? Before you do, we’ve got here everything you need to know about arch support for flat feet.
According to research, flat feet link with a person’s age, BMI, and foot size. It also has a relation to a person’s Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). The CCI is a method of knowing the morbidity of a person with two simultaneous chronic diseases.
The prevalence of this condition is 26.62% among adults 40 years old and above. With these facts, there is a chance that you develop flat feet as you grow older. Read on to prepare yourself for that possibility and/or help an elder with flat feet.
In This Post:
1. What Are Flat Feet?
When you look at a person with flat feet, you may notice that his foot has a very low or no arch. This causes the whole of the foot or feet to be flat on the ground. Not only does this look abnormal but it is also problematic for people who have this condition.
The design of the arch of the foot is to provide a spring to the step. The arch also helps distribute body weight across the feet and legs. When a person has flat feet, his feet may roll to the inner side when walking and/or their feet may point outward.
Types and Causes
There are two main kinds of flat feet: rigid flat feet (RFF) as well as flexible flat feet (FFF). A person with RFF never attains an arch. Often, this condition happens via some underlying pathology.
The most common reason for RFF is a unique condition referred to as tarsal coalition. This is when two or more of the seven tarsal bones fuse together. Other causes of RFF include trauma, infection, and neuromuscular and autoimmune disorders.
An individual with FFF will have an arch when his feet are not bearing weight. The arch fatigues or collapses only when they stand or when the foot gets stressed. The common cause is ligament laxity, muscle weakness, or tendon weakness.
Common causes of flat feet also include genetic factors. Arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to having flat feet. The same may go for having a nervous system or muscle disease like cerebral palsy or spina bifida.
For people with flat feet, the common symptom is a pain in the feet due to strained muscles and ligaments.
You may feel pain on the inside ankle, arch of the foot, or the calf. The knee, hip, and lower back may have pain as well. Furthermore, one or both your feet may feel stiff.
When you have flat feet, there may be uneven body weight distribution. One of your shoes may wear down faster than usual. This can lead to further injuries.
2. What Is Arch Support for Flat Feet?
One solution for pain due to having flat feet is arch support. This flat feet orthotics support the feet and hold the four arches of the foot in the ideal position. It allows flat-footed patients to strengthen muscles in the feet and enhance the biomechanics of a flat foot.
Since they support the arches in your feet, they work to also align the lower body better. This can result in elating pain from the misaligned hip, knees, or back. Thus, the pain, discomfort, and pressure in your joints, ligaments, and muscles
You often encounter the term “arch support” in the runners’ community. You may hear it when you shop for a running shoe and they ask for your foot type. Many running shoes have arch support to fix flat feet pronation.
Running with flat feet can be a painful ordeal and it could lead to more injuries. Yet, many running shoes with more arch support are more expensive. The reasons are that they’re made to aid in pain relief and help with recovery.
3. When Should You Get Arch Support?
Should you get arch support if you have flat feet? No, you shouldn’t. Get arch support only when your podiatrist tells you to.
Be careful when you do shop for running shoes or hiking sandals catered to people with flat feet. If you don’t need arch support, there is no use getting it. After all, you don’t wear a cast when you don’t have a broken bone or fracture.
Also, note that “corrective shoes” don’t correct. In reality, they support flat feet at best. If you have flat feet but experience no symptoms, do preventive exercises instead.
4. How to Pick the Right Arch Support for Flat Feet
If your podiatrist does recommend arch support, you need the perfect fit for your unique feet. Finding the right insoles or shoes for flat feet is a challenge. You have to make sure that the footwear you buy is well-fitted, comfortable, and supportive.
The important things to consider are the right structure, flexibility, and cushioning. Quality padding is supportive, springy, and should not compress after a few uses. You also need to consider the stability the shoes will give you.
The unfortunate thing is that you cannot customize all footwear you buy to have the perfect arch support. This is where customized insoles or shoe inserts come in. Over-the-counter custom insoles are great alternatives for footwear with non-customizable soles.
5. Natural Treatment for Flat Feet
Let’s say you already have the perfect waterproof sandals with arch support. Yet, the pain doesn’t go away. For this, you can refer to your doctor for the best treatment for flat feet.
You may get a prescription for herbal remedies to help ease the pain. Your podiatrist may also tell you to apply the RICE method on routine. The RICE method is to apply rest, ice, compression, and elevation to swollen or fatigued feet.
You might need physical therapy to strengthen your muscles or ligaments. There are exercises that can prevent further damage to your feet and lower body as well. As you can see, there are many more natural remedies for other than using flat feet support.
Feel Better with Arch Support
That’s it for our post on all that you need to know about arch support for flat feet.
If you have flat feet, make sure you see your podiatrist on a regular basis. Always remember to ask your doctor first about arch support and remedies.
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