In relatively close past people with flat feet were considered unfitting to the rows of military recruits, ballet dancers, athletes and more. Upon recent medical research and documented success stories of all sorts of professionals with flat feet – it has been accepted to consider this “verdict” largely baseless.
The statistics numbers on people who were born with rigidly fallen arches due to heredity or, in some cases, medical conditions (Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome) are really small. For those individuals, nothing short of surgery is likely to aid their foot deformity. Undefined arches and flexible flat feet have been for decades assessed as “flat arches”. One out of four people possesses this condition. The soles of their feet touch the ground surface fully when contact with the ground is made.
The condition does not cause unwarranted aches, does not interfere with daily routines.
They play an important role in standing, walking, running and jumping. They work like springs that provide support and stability when standing and walking, and act as shock absorbers during your gait cycle. They also contribute significantly to force generation when walking, running or jumping. Well-formed arches are critical for good posture and body alignment. When arches collapse, they can have multiple negative effects on your gait, the posture of your figure, sometimes leads to foot, arch or joint pain.
It is a known fact that a human is born with underdeveloped arches. This changes as the human life progresses and the child starts walking. The feet strengthen and develop a fully functional arch. Most people get a fully functional arch by 6 years of age. The fourth of the population tends to fail to develop it even by adult years.
Improper footwear during critical developmental stages.
Overweight or obesity, which places extraordinary load on the arches and joints throughout the body: spine, ankles, knees
Regular marathon running, can provoke arch height to decrease with time.
Pregnancy increases body weight, that prompts arch flattening over time.
Cerebral Palsy, diabetes and arthritis can prompt the arch to subside.
Tendon and muscle injuries in foot’s arch and the plantar will inevitably add to flat feet prognosis.
For people with flexible fallen arches, there is hope. Even though it is low, but it is still an arch, and certain exercises can help you, creating a more functional arch. While some practitioners will recommend orthotics footwear in case of a fallen arch, those may potentially can worsen the issue, providing artificial support that does not help arch strengthening. After a careful examination of your feet your physical therapist will prescribe a ‘short foot’ exercise regimen geared to strengthen foot arch. As you grow stronger, you should notice improved posture, reduced foot aches.
Dealing with flat feet? Our foot pain specialists at NYDNRehab can help. We use advanced diagnostic tools such as real-time ultrasonography, force plate analysis, as well as sophisticated computerized technology of gait analysis to get the full picture of your foot. You can also see the effects of its dysfunction on the rest of your body. We then design an individualized treatment plan geared to restoring optimal function to your feet and joints throughout your body.