A flat foot is a lot more common than you might think.
What is the incidence rate? The incidence rate in the general population is around 30% according to most studies. This means that almost one-third of the population will experience it. Many people have flat feet from birth and do not develop natural arches. However, arches can “collapse” later on in life because of wear and tear on the ligaments and tendons that support them.
The good news is that not all people with flat feet and low arches experience pain in their daily activities. Many do. If you have flat feet and are experiencing foot pain, your lack of arches could be a major reason.
Unique Rehab has a lot of experience in helping flat foot patients to relieve their pain and improve their mobility. Thanks to custom orthotics surgery is often unnecessary!
You might be familiar with architecture and construction. Arches are extremely stable and strong because they convert load forces to compression forces. This is partly what happens in the foot arches (especially along the outside edges or longitudinal arch), but it’s more complicated than that.
More elastic tissues are used to hold the “high point” of your arch at the bottom of your foot (the medial longitudinal arch). These tissues are made to gently flex and pronate while bearing a load. These tissues have several key benefits.
Flexing allows the weight and impact force of the step to be “processed”, albeit for a longer time. Arches are great shock absorbers and minimize wear and tear to the rest of your feet and legs.
* The energy stored in the arches is shifted as you walk forward. This helps to transfer weight, keep your balance, and gives you a boost that propels you forward. It’s basically a spring which makes walking more efficient.
You have low to no arches in your feet. Then, all the other muscles, bones, and soft tissues must take over the work.
It is also more common to overpronate or have your foot roll inwards when you are carrying weight. The arch of the foot is supposed to pronate. However, if there’s no arch to support it, excessive pronation can lead to increased wear on your surrounding muscles and joints and more risk for injuries.
It doesn’t mean that you have to live with your pain forever or need to undergo foot surgery. custom orthotics is the “middle” option that will be best for most people.
This analogy has been used before. However, it is helpful to think of orthotics in the same way as contacts or glasses, except that the feet are the eyes.
Orthotics, which are similar to glasses, allow a part or body of your body, regardless of any imperfections, to function properly. The correct way for light to reach your retina is through glasses. For overpronation, custom orthotics can be used to augment flat feet with shock absorption, arch support, and stability control.
Just as glasses can come in many prescriptions to suit your needs, custom orthotics can also be made from a scan of your feet. They can also be made with many different materials and have many different types of features to fit your needs.
Orthotics are often the first option for flat-footed people. They are very effective in a large number of cases.
We’ll examine your foot structure, lower extremity biomechanics and discuss your lifestyle with you. We can then determine whether orthotics, either fully customized or prefabricated arch support insoles, are appropriate for you.
You may be offered additional conservative options to help reduce your pain. These could include specific exercises, shoes, or activity modifications, as well as physical therapy. For mild to moderate cases of flatfoot, orthotics and smart lifestyle changes will suffice.
Flat feet are not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s how to get started.
You might not be experiencing any symptoms now. Flatfoot cases are almost always asymptomatic. If your feet don’t function properly, they will experience extra wear and tear. Your chances of later in life developing injuries and pain are much higher than if your arches were “normal”.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get orthotics, but it does mean you need to pay attention to what your feet tell you. If you haven’t had an extensive foot and ankle exam in a while, it is definitely a good idea to schedule one.
You should be aware that foot pain can develop in the future. It is important to take preventative measures and seek treatment as soon as possible. This will help to save you time and reduce your anxiety.