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Banishing Foot Pain Once And For All » Need Relief from Flat Foot Pain?

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Need Relief from Flat Foot Pain?

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a condition that occurs when the arch in the foot collapses.  The collapse of the arch causes the entire sole of the foot to come into complete contact, or almost in complete contact, with the floor.  As a result, people with flat feet are unable to tread normally and are forced to alter their steps.

What causes flat feet? 
• Genetics - In most cases, (approximately 20-30% of the population) flat feet is genetic and both feet are affected.  Those born with naturally flat feet usually have a malformed joint, or two or more bones may have merged together that caused the feet to become stiff and flat. 
• Injury that causes stiffness and distorts the foot joints such as a ruptured tendon
• Arthritis
• Illness – Diseases that affect the nervous system or muscles (I.E. spian bifida, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy) can cause flat feet because muscles become week and stiff, and can no longer function effectively together. 
• Natural aging process
• Pregnancy – Sometimes pregnant women develop flat feet from the temporary changes caused by an increase in elastin in their body.

Usually, flat feet is a permanent condition.

What symptoms can occur from having flat feet?  People with flat feet are at a higher risk of developing foot problems because they suffer from over-pronation.  Over-pronation is when the feet roll excessively inward due to the stress overload placed on the ligaments and tendons of the ankle.  This weakens the ankle and inside portion of the foot causing it to turn inward.  Over-pronation can lead to painful symptoms including -

Bunions – A deformity of the big toe that occurs when the joint becomes misaligned and protrude outward. 

Calluses – When the big toe loses flexibility, calluses usually occur under the sole of the foot near the second toe where stress is being placed.

Hammer toes – When the angle of the big toe increases inward, it begins to slide under the second toe.  As a result, the metatarsal bone rises up and causes a hammer toe to form.

Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs – The Achilles tendon becomes shorter and pulls up on the heel of a person with flat feet, causing the arch to flatten and the foot to become longer.  Thus, the plantar fascia (tight band of muscle under the foot arch) becomes abnormally stretched, which can lead to pain in the heel bone (plantar fasciitis) and heel spurs.

Low back pain – This usually occurs due to strain on the sciatic nerve.  This nerve links the lower back to the foot via the leg.  The strain is typically caused by repeated shock from running and over-pronation.

Finding relief from symptoms – There are different methods for treating flat feet, such as –

• Stretching exercises – Engage in exercises (2 – 3 times daily) that focus on the arch of your foot and Achilles’ tendons (IE. rolling your foot back and forth over a rolling pin or foot gymnastics).  This will help increase flexibility and reduce the stress and pain felt by these areas.

• Lose weight – If you are overweight, losing weight helps to provide relief for your feet.

• Wear supportive shoes – Keep an eye on the stability of your footwear.  Don’t wear shoes that are worn, tight, or tilt inwards.  These shoes only increase your risk of injury and pain.  Also, use orthotic insoles for your shoes to provide your foot with better support.

• See a professional – If you suffer from chronic discomfort or pain, seek the attention of a foot specialist such as a podiatrist or orthopedist.  They can help provide you with proper shoes and orthotics that are custom made for your foot.  They can also recommend exercises and even surgery if it is in the patient’s best interest.

For more information on all varieties of Foot Pain and how to effectively treat them, please sign up for a free Foot Pain Relief newsletter.



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