A flat foot is a natural formation of the human body that is found on selected people. Flat feet are usually hereditary in nature. It may also be due to stress of the tendons and ligaments of the foot. Flat feet are usually found in children and get corrected as the person grows. It may also be due to tight tendons that prevent the arch formation, which is the source of its spring motion from forming. It may also result from bone deformation.
Difference Between a Flat Foot and a Normal Foot
A normal foot has an arch that curves upward in the middle of the foot. The tendons and ligaments in the foot and the leg help the arch to be supple and bear the weight of the body. This keeps the body supple as the foot is able to bear the weight of the body. A strong arch is a necessity to support the weight of the body and to maintain a good structure while a weak arch causes severe pain to the foot and the lower part of the body and to the bones thereby weakening the posture in general. A person having a flat foot stands on his entire foot. This is shown when a wet imprint on a flat surface shows the full foot imprint on the surface while a person with a normal foot does not have the portion that has the arch imprinted on the flat surface.
Exercises to Control Pain Related to Flat Feet
There are a few simple exercises that help to cure flat foot and all problems associated with it.
- Lift the left foot by balancing on the heel. Then repeat the same with the right foot. This can be repeated 5 times for each foot for about 15 seconds each time.
- The same exercise can be done by raising the heel and standing on the toes. Lift the heel as high as possible. This exercise can be repeated 5 times on both the legs at the same time. One can use the wall as a support by placing the hands against the wall for balance. This strengthens the muscles of the lower leg.
- The toe exercise can be done by pressing the big toe onto the ground while lifting the other four toes from the ground and alternating with pressing the four toes down and lifting the big toe alone from the ground. This can be done for 5 seconds and repeated a few times. This supports the muscles on the underside of the foot. The big toe for those with flat foot is usually weak and this exercise helps to strengthen the big toe and the muscles connected with it.
- The calf muscles can be strengthened by pressing against the wall with both hands on the wall and standing with one foot forward and one foot backward with full force. Both legs should be kept flat on the ground. This can be alternated by interchanging the legs.
- Sitting on a chair, put your feet in a criss-cross position by placing one foot over the other completely by resting the mid part of the foot on the other foot by applying a little pressure. This will also do the trick as it relaxes the muscles in the foot and the lower leg.
These are simple exercises that help to strengthen the muscles in the foot and the lower leg especially the calf muscles.
Exercise is the best form of curing all problems connected with flat feet. Other measures that can be taken to help relieve foot pain for those with flat foot are to have arch supports fitted on to shoes to strengthen the foot. Excess body weight is also another cause for foot pain connected with flat feet which has to be reduced. Wearing high heels continuously for long periods, on a stretch should be avoided when one has flat feet. Only in extreme cases, should surgery be considered, as foot pain can be easily resolved with ordinary exercises and using proper footwear.
Flat Feet and its Scientific Interpretation
There are a range of sandals and shoes which best fit flat feet. Most of the sandals and shoes that are used should have excellent support and also accommodate orthotics that will aid flexibility of flat foot. A significant heel support is essential for flat feet control. In order to limit over pronation, the shoes also have soles with wedges. A deep heel cup that can be adjusted according to the preference of the individual is the best type of arch supports for flat feet.
Seven Steps Treatment
Before you go to the podiatrist, try the following seven steps for three weeks and see if there are any appreciable effects on your foot.
- Women should make use of OTC orthotics for dress shoes as well as boots.
- If you are someone who uses slippers at home, you can also try using a sandal that comes with an arch support.
- Those who wear shoes should use the best arch support for flat feet that will help transfer force away from your foot’s ball.
- When the condition of your flat feet is very severe, you will require more support than prefabricated arch. Hence it is best to opt for custom orthotic to treat severe flat foot condition.
- At times when you are not able to wear shoes, you can make use of air heel that can be worn in minimal shoes or when you are barefoot.
- To reduce the pain due to flat feet, you can strengthen the arch with effective exercises that are mentioned above.
- When it comes to choosing the shoes, you should make sure to choose one that comes with good support features.
As far as flat feet is concerned, there are two categories under which you will fall: hereditary or acquired. If the flat feet condition causes you pain, you should consult with a podiatrist.
More about flat feet: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001262.htm