If you have a condition known as flat feet or fallen arches, then you share the pain and discomfort with millions of other people. The flat foot condition is extremely common, makes standing and walking painful, and it affects your quality of life. However, there are some things you can do to alleviate the pain so that you can go on with your life as usual. Here is more information about flat feet and how orthotics may help.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flat feet, or fallen arches, is an accurate description of this condition. Basically, the arches flatten down over time or collapse so that the bones in the arch press entirely on the ground. For many people, flat feet cause only minor discomfort, but for others, it can be debilitating. Flat feet also causes pressure on your hips and knee joints.
Who Usually Gets Flat Feet
People who are overweight or have experienced foot trauma are at the most risk. However, the condition may be age-related and is often noticed in people who are middle-aged and older. If you have rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, then you could also be at risk because those conditions affect inflammation and blood flow to the feet and its muscles and tendons.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Wear and tear, as well as injury to the posterior tibial tendon directly contribute to fallen arches. This tendon prevents the foot from pronating inward and putting pressure on your arch. However, being overweight can over-stretch this tendon and weaken it to the point where the arch collapses. Wearing bad shoes, or failing to correct minor pronation and gait problems early can also make your arch problem worse.
How Can Orthotics Help Flat Feet?
There is no cure for fallen arches. However a good, firm, and properly-fitted orthotic can support your arch so that you can continue walking or standing as usual. In order to get the best results, you must see a professional to get your orthotic prepared and fitted. Orthotics are not the same as an insert because its main job is to actually correct the problem so that you have proper alignment and gait.
In the beginning, you may be able to get away with using over-the-counter inserts to support your arches. Inserts help support the arch and cushion the feet, but do not actually correct the problem like orthotics. However, if your condition worsens, or you find that these inserts don't work, then you should talk to an expert at an orthotics clinic for a more effective device.
For more information, contact an orthotic clinic in your area.