A normal foot has three arches to it: the medial, the lateral, and the metatarsal. These arches make it so your feet can bear the weight of your body and propel you forward.
If the arches of your feet are flattened, the entire sole of your foot touches the floor when you’re standing. Flat feet may be a defect of childhood; the arches just never developed. Flat feet — the condition is medically known as “flatfoot” — can also occur over time as part of wear-and-tear and the aging process, as well as due to injury.
Your arches consist of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. If your arches are abnormal in anyway, these tissues may suffer pain or injury. Supportive footwear, orthotics, and proper movement patterns help keep you healthy even if you have arches on the flatter side.
At AllCare Foot & Ankle Center in Arlington and Dallas, Texas, we evaluate your arches to determine if you need assistance in keeping your feet, and consequently your whole body, healthy. Read on to find out why flat feet often require support and therapy.
Pronation refers to the inward roll of the feet when your foot angles toward the inside edge of your foot. Some degree of pronation is normal, but people with flat feet have excessive pronation. This causes uneven weight distribution. Your ankles also roll inward as a result.
With excessive pronation, your feet and legs don’t absorb shock as efficiently and your body has trouble with stabilization. Instead of the whole front of the foot working to move you forward when you walk or run, a small portion of your foot now does most of the work. Your big and second toe become overstressed.
When you have flat feet, you may find that you get tired easily, especially in your feet. You just can’t go as far as your family and friends. It’s not unusual to experience numbness in your feet and ankles or to develop calluses.
The insides and bottoms of your feet may also swell after some time standing or walking. These symptoms may cause you to avoid physical activity and stick to a sedentary lifestyle. Too little physical activity causes a host of health problems, including a greater risk of obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Because flat feet cause your weight to be distributed abnormally, other joints and muscles take responsibility for keeping you upright. As a result, you may experience back and leg pain that can interfere with daily tasks, exercise, and activities you enjoy.
While flat feet aren’t really fixable, you can do physical therapy and wear supportive shoes to prevent complications. At AllCare Foot & Ankle Center, we provide physical therapy to help balance your gait and stance so you don’t experience the effects of uneven weight distribution.
We can also recommend supportive footwear that replicates the arch, so you experience fewer side effects due to your flat feet. Orthotics are another solution. We can fit you for customized versions to put into your favorite shoes and prevent degradation of your body structure due to your flat arches.
If you’re suffering from foot pain, tired feet, and back pain, come to AllCare Foot & Ankle Center for an evaluation. We can help whether it’s flat feet or another foot, ankle, or lower leg condition causing your pain and dysfunction. Call for an appointment or use this website to schedule.