5 Ways To Help You Get Rid Of Flat Feet
Close to 25% of all Americans have flat feet or fallen arches. Flat feet or what scientists refer to as Pes Planus is a common problem that affects millions of people globally. This condition occurs when the small bones, ligament, and tendons below the feet cannot support the body weight which in turn makes them collapse.
Pes Planus is a common occurrence in children, but as they continue to grow, they form an arch for shock absorption. For many people, this does not occur, and so they grow into adults with flat feet. However, for others it is a problem that develops as a result of obesity, wearing improper footwear and excessive workouts.
This common foot problem will not cause any adverse health issues in most cases, but for some individuals, it can affect their ability to walk or stand for long or cause back and foot/leg pain. Also, it can prevent some from participating in sports and other activities and so it is important to fix it. Here is how to fix flat feet.
Start Wearing Supportive Shoes
Wearing shoes that are not supportive enough is one of the leading causes of adult-acquired flat feet. And so replacing your shoes with some supportive ones can be a very effective way of dealing with the problem. The support from the footwear will help the feet to regain their natural arch. To make sure that the shoe helps you it is important to go for something with sufficient arch support, a firm heel counter, a roomy toe box and a flexible and supportive outsole.
Also, it is important to avoid shoes that have a heel that is higher than 2.25 inches because it will tighten the Achilles tendons and make the problem worse. But you should make sure that you do not also go for something that is completely level because it will put too much pressure on your heel. A heel elevation of between 0.25 and 0.5 inches is sufficient for most people with flat feet. Buying the best shoes for standing all day late in the afternoon is also very helpful because it will ensure that you get the right size since the feet are at their largest size.
Wear Some Custom Orthotics
As you are looking for advice on how to get rid of flat feet, you will always come across custom orthotics as one of the best solutions. Orthotics can help to solve everything from plantar fasciitis to flat feet and so it is a perfect idea to get a custom pair. These semi-rigid inserts will promote better biomechanics and support the arches in your feet when standing or walking. They also provide cushioning and shock absorption which prevents the development of other problems in your knees, ankles, and hips that come with flat feet.
Although the custom orthotics may not reverse the structural deformities in your feet, they will help prevent the problem from becoming worse and hence making it easy to fix. These inserts will give you the best results if you combine them with other methods of fixing flat feet.
Do Some Special Exercises
There are some special exercises for flat feet that you can do to solve this problem. However, it is important to know that they will require a lot of dedication and consistency for you to see any significant results. These exercises aim at stretching the muscles and training the tendons and ligaments in the foot so as to rehabilitate them to their natural shape and position.
The best idea is to talk to an expert for advice on the safest exercises that you can do to fix the Pes Planus. But there are still many online resources that you can use for ideas. To make sure that you get maximum benefits you should ensure that whatever you do will include calf raises and stretches and some training for the Achilles tendons and peroneal muscles.
A small massage ball will come in handy when doing these exercises as you can use it underneath the feet and also on your Achilles tendon. It is also vital to make sure that you do some big toe exercises.
Shed Some Weight
Obesity is the leading cause of Pes Planus in adults, and so it is important to shed some of the weight if you want to fix your feet. A sudden gain of weight will in most cases cause your arches to collapse and so losing some of the pounds and exercising your feet will be a very effective way of restoring the arches. Shedding weight will take some pressure of your tendons, ligaments, and bones and hence make it easier for the feet to regain their natural arch.
Consuming fewer calories every day and remaining active are some of the simple of ways of shedding some pounds and gaining muscle. However, even as you try to fix the flat feet problem, it is important to ensure that you lose the weight in a safe way to avoid any adverse health consequences that can come from a rapid weight loss.
Seek Medical Assistance
If everything else does not seem to be working or if the flat feet are causing severe back or leg pain and making it hard for you to stand or walk it is time to talk to your podiatrist. The podiatrist will examine your feet and do some x-rays to determine the cause of the problem and the extent. Depending on the findings, the doctor might recommend a simple palliative care that may entail resting or using anti-inflammatory medication and ice for flare-ups.
In some cases, the podiatrist can recommend intensive physical therapy by a professional. Even without the doctor's advice, it is still a good idea to seek the services of a physiotherapist to fix this problem. The therapist will recommend and create some tailored stretches that you can use to restore your arch. For the physical therapy to help with the problem you will need to do it a few times every week and for a couple of months.
Surgery is another recommendation that you can get from your podiatrist. However, this is in most instances the last cause of action if all the other remedies fail to produce positive results. The particular surgical procedure will depend on the condition leading to the Pes Planus, and it may involve straightening or separation of bones or repairing and lengthening of tissues.
Flat feet or Pes Planus is an annoying and even embarrassing foot problem. It can restrain you from engaging in your favorite sports or even doing simple things like running and walking. But you should never let fallen arches affect your way of life because there are many things that one can do to fix them. And if everything else fails, there is always the option of going for a minor surgery to correct the problem permanently.