Flat feet is caused by many things, genetics, age, weight, etc., and can create painful body issues. A physical therapist can treat and suggest simple lifestyle changes like exercises to lengthen and strengthen muscles, shoes and insoles that will lift the arch and posture builders to engage and strengthen the core. But those with flat feet should understand what happens to the body when there is no arch in their feet.
What Does The Arch Do? The arches add elasticity and flexibility causing the middle of the foot to spread and close. Arches help absorb shock and are key to the foot’s strength and body balance. Arches also help distribute weight evenly around the entire foot. When the foot is flat, the rest of the body has to make up for no arch and adds additional burden on the feet, knees and back creating inflammation and pain.
Should Flat Footed People See A Doctor? Some flat footed individuals experience no pain so there is no need to see a doctor or physical therapist. But if there is pain in the foot, ankle or other body areas, flat feet could be the reason. See a doctor if the arches have dropped recently, there is pain in the lower limbs, supportive or orthopedic shoes fail to help pain or if the feet are continually heavy or stiff.
What Will A Physical Therapist Do to Help? A doctor or physical therapist will review your individual issues to determine the bigger picture. They will explain how the feet are the foundation of the entire body and keeping them strong will help alleviate pain throughout the body including ankle, knee and back pain. Things that are normally suggested are footwear with substantial arch support, insoles to relieve foot pressure, daily stretching exercises for both the feet and the legs, ice therapy to reduce inflammation, physiotherapy to correct the walking patterns or even ankle braces, injections or surgery for more extreme cases.
What Will Happen If Flat Foot Pain Is Ignored? If pain caused by flat feet is ignored, it could become worse overtime. Walking and other activities could become harder to participate in, the body’s balance will be effected and the pain will appear in other parts of the body, including muscle, joint and tendons. Bunions, calluses, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, blisters and other painful problems will increase. Athletes will experience shin splints and fractures and overall quality of life will suffer.
The best advice is to contact a physical therapist for flat feet treatment to prevent unnecessary body pain.