Flat feet are caused by many different factors, including genetics, age, and weight. Having flat feet can create extremely painful issues that make it hard for you to play the sports you love, or just simply navigate on a daily basis.
Thankfully, if you have flat feet, a physical therapist can treat and suggest simple lifestyle changes such as targeted stretches and special exercises to lengthen and strengthen muscles. They can also suggest certain types of shoes and insoles that can lift your arch, improve your posture, and strengthen your core.
It’s important to understand what happens to your body if you don’t have an arch in your feet. Although it may seem minor right now, having flat feet is not something you will be able to ignore until you’re older, because as you age your problems will worsen. If you have flat feet or are suffering from foot pain, contact our office today to learn more about how our licensed physical therapists can help relieve your symptoms!
What Causes Flat Feet?
According to Healthline, having flat feet “is a relatively common condition that can affect up to 30 percent of the population, causing symptoms in 1 in 10 of these people. Usually, both feet are affected, but it’s possible to have a fallen arch on only one foot.”
As stated before, flat feet can be the result of genetics or can develop with age, however, these aren’t the only culprits. Flat feet can develop from the following scenarios as well:
- Wearing shoes that don’t have proper arch support
- Wearing high heels that cause excessive strain on your feet
- Overstretched or rupture tendons
- Birth abnormalities
- Weight gain issues
What Is The Purpose of a Foot Arch?
Having a proper foot arch is vital to your health. The arches of our feet add elasticity and flexibility causing the middle of the foot to spread and close as we move. Arches are also shock absorbers and are key to the foot’s strength and body balance. They help to distribute your weight evenly around your entire foot. When your foot is flat, the rest of your body has to make up for it, which adds extra burden on your feet, knees, and back creating inflammation and pain.
Some individuals with flat feet experience no pain whatsoever, so they don’t feel a need to see a doctor or physical therapist. However, if there is pain in the foot, ankle, or other lower extremities, flat feet could be the reason. You should see a doctor if you notice your arches have dropped recently, if there is pain in your lower limbs, or if supportive or orthopedic shoes fail to help relieve your discomfort.
What Happens If You Ignore Pain From Flat Feet?
It’s important not to ignore pain in your feet, especially if it’s caused by a lack of an arch. This condition will certainly worsen over time, and you’ll notice that walking and other activities will become harder to participate in. Your body’s balance will be affected and the pain will start manifesting in other areas, including muscles, joints, and tendons.
Other painful problems will start to show up as well, including bunions, calluses, plantar fasciitis, and blisters. Athletes will experience shin splints and fractures and overall quality of life will suffer.
How Can Physical Therapy Help?
When you come to our office, one of our licensed physical therapists will review your issues to determine any underlying health problems. They will be able to thoroughly explain to you how your feet are the foundation of your entire body. With a physical therapist’s help, you’ll be able to learn exactly how you can keep them strong and alleviate ankle, knee, and back pain.
Some commonly suggested things in physical therapy are better footwear with substantial arch support, insoles to relieve foot pressure, daily stretching exercises for both the feet and the legs, ice therapy to reduce inflammation, physiotherapy to correct the walking patterns or even ankle braces, injections or surgery for more extreme cases.
A few recommended exercises are as follows:
- Tennis ball rolls
- Heel stretches
- Arch lifts
- Calf raises
- Stair arch raises
- Towel curls
- Toe raises
The best advice is to contact a physical therapist for flat feet treatment to prevent unnecessary body pain. Your physical therapist may suggest an orthotic device for treatment. Healthline states that “Orthotic devices can also help to absorb impact and reduce stress.” There are several treatment options available to you to help with pain caused by flat feet!
Contact Our Office Today
Kick that pain in your foot right out the door. Contact our office today to learn more about combatting pain caused by flat feet. Our physical therapists are ready to assess your condition and start building a customized treatment plan just for you, so what are you waiting for? Give Burlingame Therapeutic Associates a call and get back on the path to pain-free living.