How Flat Feet Affect Overall Health: Avoiding Flat Feet
Having flat feet can cause a cascade of health issues that many people might not be aware of. Although it is common and mostly harmless, flat feet can affect the overall health of an individual. In this article, we will discuss how flat feet affect overall health, what causes it, and tips on avoiding flat feet. Flat feet is a condition where the arch of the foot collapses when standing or walking and can lead to pain in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back if left untreated.
Causes of Flat Feet
Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a condition in which the entire sole of the foot touches the ground when standing. It is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. Flat feet can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, injury, and certain medical conditions.
One of the most common causes of flat feet is genetics. Some people are born with flat feet due to inherited traits from their parents or grandparents. These individuals may not experience any symptoms until later in life when additional stress is placed on their feet.
Injury is another common cause of flat feet. An injury to the foot or ankle such as a sprain or fracture can damage the ligaments that hold up the arch and lead to flat feet. In some cases, wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support can also contribute to this type of injury.
Signs and Symptoms
When you have flat feet, your arches collapse or don't develop properly. This can lead to a range of symptoms that may affect your daily life if left untreated. That's why it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of flat feet early on.
The most noticeable symptom of flat feet is pain in the foot, particularly in the arch area. Pain can also occur in other areas such as the heel, ankle and calf muscles due to improper alignment and overuse. Other common symptoms include swelling along the inside of the ankle and difficulty standing on tiptoe or raising your heels off the ground.
If you suspect that you have flat feet or experience any of these symptoms, it's important to consult with a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment options.
While flat feet may not always cause pain or discomfort, it can lead to several health implications if left untreated.
One of the primary health implications of flat feet is foot and ankle pain. When you have flat feet, it puts extra pressure on certain parts of your foot, leading to inflammation and discomfort. This type of pain often worsens with physical activities such as running or walking for long periods. In addition to foot pain, individuals with flat feet may also experience knee pain due to misalignment and added stress on their joints.
Another significant health implication associated with flat feet is an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
There are several prevention strategies that individuals with flat feet can apply to avoid these complications.
The first prevention strategy is exercise. It’s essential for individuals with flat feet to keep their muscles strong and flexible through regular exercises like stretching and walking. Doing exercises that target the feet such as calf raises or rolling a tennis ball under your foot can also help build strength in your arches.
Another useful prevention strategy is wearing appropriate footwear that provides adequate support for your feet. Shoes with good arch support will help distribute weight more evenly across your foot and reduce strain on your arches.
There are many treatment options available to help manage these symptoms and improve overall foot function.
One effective treatment option for flat feet is physical therapy. This typically involves exercises designed to strengthen the muscles in your feet and legs that support your arches. Another one is wearing orthotics. It can help support the foot and redistribute pressure. These devices are placed inside shoes and can be custom-made or purchased over-the-counter.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct flat feet. This typically involves realigning bones in the foot to create an arch where there wasn't one before. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which treatment option is best for your individual needs.
Shoe Options for Flat Feet
For people with flat feet, finding the right pair of shoes can make all the difference. By choosing shoes specifically designed to support flat feet, individuals can reduce their risk of developing long-term foot problems.
When looking for shoe options for flat feet, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, it's crucial to choose shoes that offer adequate arch support. Look for shoes with built-in orthotics or insoles that provide extra cushioning and stability for your arches. Not to mention, it's important to choose shoes with a wide toe box that allows your toes to spread out naturally. Another consideration is the material of the shoe itself.
Take a look at these great picks from WMShoe: