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Flat feet

FLAT FOOT? What are causes and solutions?

Flat feet/ fallen arches are a painless condition in which arches of one or both feet doesn’t developed during infancy. When people walking and standing, their feet move to inside side of body .This is called over pronation. In some cases, its developed wear and tear stresses of age or after an injury. This condition can change the alignment of leg then produce problem in knee and ankle.

What is arch?

If you see foot from inside you will observe an upward curve in middle is called arch.  Number of tendons in your leg and foot to form arches. These arches provide support and distribute body weight in leg and feet.

Symptoms: Some people have flat feet and observe no problems and need no treatment. But several may follow symptom:

  • Swelling inside of your feet
  • Painful area especially lower back,hip,knee,calf, arches of foot and heels
  • Feet fatigue easily
  • Difficulty in standing, balance,
  • walking ,running and climbing
  • Stiffness feel in your one or both feet
  • Feet are stiff ,numb, weak or painful

Causes: Common causes of flat feet are:

  • Genetic disorder, it can pass from parents to children
  • Ankle or foot injury
  • Weak arches, means when person sit then arch is visible but when they stand the foot flat on floor
  • Arthritis
  • Posterior tibial tendon stretched, damage,repture and dysfunction
  • Neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or spinal bifida
  • During pregnancy flat feet develop
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Dislocated or broken bones
  • During birth any abnormalities present

Disadvantages:

  • The function of the arch of foot is like a shock absorber. If arch is not present in foot, then overall weight transferred to lower back and knee.
  • Planterfascilitis (fascia connect heel to toe) is another issue present in flatfoot.

 

Myths about flat feet:

  • Big problem
  • Keep the child’s feet covered all time
  • Wearing wrong type of shoes
  • People shouldn’t run
  • Surgery or orthotics
  • Medication
  • Flat feet need arch support
  • Is not a genetic factor

Exercise: These exercises are strengthening and lengthening your arches, increase the range of motion and reduce pain.

1: Heel separation: These exercises perform in different way while in standing or sitting.

Position: Sit on chair and feet together and raise your heel upwards slowly while your toes touching the floor.

Heel raises

Exercises for heel raises

Hold: 10 sec hold in this position and relax. Repetition: 10 times, 3 times in a day.

2: Ball rolls exercise:

Position: sit on your chair and foot flat on ground. Then Place a small ball under the foot and roll the ball towards the toe and trying the heel contact the ground.

Hold: 10 sec hold then relax.

Ball rolling exercises

Ball rolling exercises

Repetition: 10 times, 3 times in a day.

3: Calf Stretch:

Position: Standing at floor, one leg forward and other behind,  keep back and knee straight, use wall or chair      to help your maintain balance, then feel stretch behind the lower leg.

 Hold: 30 sec hold then relax.

Calf Stretches

Lunge Position to stretch Calf

Repetition: 5 times, 3 times in a day.

4: Towel curls:

Position: sit on chair .Towel under the feet. Raise your towel through toes

 Hold: 10 sec hold then relax.

Towel Curl

Exercises with towel for foot arches

Repetition: 10 times, 3 times in a day.

Further solutions include:

  • Before exercises completely warm up
  • Rest
  • Weight loss
  • Particularly when running then avoid uneven surfaces
  • Wear supportive shoes
  • Replace shoes when they are damage
  • Build up flexibility and strength
  • Don’t overuse activity
  • Prevent any injury
  • Arches support
  • Painkillers

By Saba Saleem, PT

NOTE: The information provided to you is solely for the information purpose. We are not responsible for any damage related to health. Please consult an expert Physiotherapist /Physician/Consultant for your respective problem.

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