Tag Archives: fallen arches

Are Your Feet Causing Knee, Back and Hip Pain?

Fallen arches (or ‘flat feet’) usually go hand-in-hand with an overpronation, both of which can lead to much more misery than just foot pain. These too-common structural conditions often cause back, knee, hip, foot and ankle pain and inflammation over time.

Flat Foot Fast Facts

  • The Latin-derived medical term for the condition we know as flat feel is ‘pes planus’.
  • Close to one quarter of Americans have varying levels of fallen arches. That is a huge chunk of the population, most of whom are undiagnosed.
  • One way to tell if you have flat feet is to walk on damp sand at a beach or get your feet wet and stand on a hard surface like concrete. You should only be able to see the outer edge and balls of your feet in the print. If your entire footprint is present, you have flat feet.
  • There are over 100 different ligaments, muscles and tendons that comprise your foot and work together to support your arch.
  • Fallen arches happen when ligaments (which are supposed to be taught) stretch beyond their limits. When these ligaments become more elastic than they are supposed to be, they don’t do a good job of holding the foot bones up where they should be, so when you bear weight your arch collapses.
  • The reason so many of us have flat feet? The human foot developed to accommodate softer earth, but in this modern world, we’re accustomed to a lifetime of walking and standing for hours on concrete, hardwood, and pavement.
  • Many times arches fall during childhood or adolescence, but the pain and ill effects are not felt until later in life when there has already been significant damage done.
  • Fallen arches can cause pain in many of your body’s joints, including the feet themselves, ankles, knees, hips and back. The pain can be quite bad, especially during or after high impact exercise or lots of walking in unsupportive footwear.
  • What kinds of things cause fallen arches? Mainly too much stress on the feet over time, like standing for long periods in unsupportive footwear. Sometimes having excess weight can lead to fallen arches because the feet take on too much strain. An untreated injury to the ankles or feet can cause flat feet as well. There are other causes, but those are the main ones.
  • Whether you have flat feet or are concerned about developing them, it is essential to wear good, supportive footwear like sneakers with a good built in arch, or Birkenstock sandals which have excellent ergonomic arch support. If you have specialized arch supports, you should wear them whenever you are on your feet.
  • How those two feet cause so much while-body duress? Think of it this way: Your feet are meant to have arches to align the structure of your whole body while standing, but people with no arches or overpronation have an altered bodily structure. Essentially, your whole skeleton is shifted or slumped inward, which misaligns your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. OUCH!
  • Unfortunately, there is no way to cure or fix fallen arches. The only way to do so is through constant correction. You have to retrain the arch and constantly support it with the proper custom orthotics (not just shoe inserts you pick up at the drug store).
  • If you have fallen arches, you should see a trained podiatrist or orthopedic specialist who will take a print of both your feet in standing position and make orthotic inserts designed specifically to recreate what should be your foot’s natural arch.
  • Ideally, your orthopedic specialist will tell you to work your way up hour by hour until you are wearing your orthotics all day, every day.

That’s all we have for your today on fallen arches, be sure to take care of your feet by always wearing supportive footwear, not putting too much strain on them and by trying to avoid going barefoot on hard surfaces like concrete (use caution when practicing certain martial arts, for example, that may take place on concrete in bare feet). If you think you may have undiagnosed flat feet, save yourself more years of pain and discomfort by making your way to a foot specialist soon to help get the problem corrected.

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