Flat feet is a common cause of arch pain. A well developed arch allow us to distribute our weight evenly as we walk and provides shock absorption. When the arch is flattened excessive strain can be placed on the joints, ligaments, tendons and muslces about the foot resulting in pain. Flat feet may occur when the arches don’t develop during childhood. Flat feet may also be acquired through an injury or wear and tear to the posterior tibial tendon with age. Flat feet are normal in infants and toddlers. The arch normally develops through childhood but some do not. Flat feet can contribute to deformities of the foot like bunions and hammertoes. It can also cause problems in the ankle, knees, hip and lower back by altering the alignment of the legs.
If you have painful flat feet or want to prevent pain and deformities associated with flat feet there are a variety of treatments available. Proper shoe gear is essential in the management of flat feet. Footsupplystore.com carries several brands of shoes that are designed for individuals with flat feet. We recommend a tie shoe with a stiff shank. For additional support a high top sneaker or boot may be required. Innersoles by Scott foot care and Orthotics by Orthot-Dynamics work well at providing additional arch support and footsupplystore.com carries a wide variety to meet your needs. The liner of most shoes can be removed and replaced with a more supportive innersole. For shoes where the liner can not be removed a 3/4 length innersole can be used.
Stretching exercises are important. A tight Achilles tendon is often associated with flat feet. Additional stretching can be accomplished with a Posterior or Doral Night Splint by Ovation Medical. Strengthening exercises of posterior tibial tendon can also help. Decreasing the amount of stress on the arch through weight loss and low impact exercise is beneficial. Physical therapy to decrease inflammation of the arch can also be employed.
Diabetics can develop a collapse of the arch due to nerve damage. It is important for a diabetic patient to contact their doctor immediately if they develop redness and swelling in the arch area. There usually is no pain associated.