Feet are the basic foundation of your body. Your body posture, balance and strength largely depend on your feet structure. If your feet have any structural deformity, it can highly affect your body especially your knees and legs.
The same is the case with flat feet. If you have flat feet, there are high chances that you may experience negative symptoms in your body. Knee pain and Back pain is one of the major negative impacts of flat feet. Around 30% of the people with flat feet have encountered knee pain as well.
What is flat feet?
Flat feet is a physical condition that is characterized as loss of arch in one or both feet. It is also referred to as feet pronation. Flat feet is one of the most common foot problems that affects around 8 million youngsters in the US. Approximately 20 to 30 percent of the population go through this flat feet problem once in their lifetime.
Flat feet could be of two types. One type is such that it doesn’t affect daily life activities along with no negative impacts. However, the other one could be worse and could cause huge trouble for many.
How flat feet cause knee pain?
The skeletal system inside the human body is thoroughly connected with each joint supporting the other. Since joints are the place where bones attach with each other, any misplacement here can offset the balance of the joint and other bones as well.
That’s what your flat feet do. When the feet lose the arches, the feet start to roll inward leading to over pronation. This condition in turn puts severe stress on your knees and ankles.
The ankles, however, have the ability to move freely in many directions that is why they can easily handle this pressure. But the knee, unable to move freely in side to side movement. When the feet state to overpronate, the knees are pushed in a direction they’re not meant for.
This can minimize your knees functionality hence leading to knee pain. The pain could vary from being very minor to severe depending on your flat feet.
How to fix flat feet?
Wear Supportive shoes
We all wear shoes regularly but if these shoes don’t fit the feet perfectly, you’re going to face numerous issues in the longer term. Same is the case with people having flat feet. If you’re someone with flat feet, it is highly recommended to wear specially manufactured supportive shoes.
You can easily find these shoes anywhere around you. The best shoes are one with arch support. These shoes can lessen the symptoms or even provide total relief from leg or foot pain.
However make sure to get yourself a pair of supportive shoes with a heel not higher at 2 ¼ inches. Plus get your shoes fitted at the end of the day as this is the time when your flat feet are at their largest.
Custom made orthotics
The next thing to help relieve your flat feet problem is custom made orthotics. Orthotics are shoe inserts that are semi rigid and support the foot arch while standing, walking or running. So if you’re someone who spends a lot of time walking around or standing at a spot, custom made orthotics are the best solution for you.
Orthotics help your flat feet by redistributing and dispersing the body weight evenly hence minimizing the burden from your feet.
There are two types of flat feet so before getting orthotics, it’s better to identify which type of flat feet you have.
Rigid flat feet
If your feet are flat under pressure and flat when unweighted, you have rigid flat feet. For this condition, orthotics with low arch support are ideal.
Soft flat feet
If your feet are flat under pressure and curved when unweighted, you have flexible flat feet. For flexible flat feet, orthotic with high arch support is recommended.
Orthotics also help you relieve pain caused by many other physical or medical conditions such as diabetes, bursitis, and plantar fasciitis. Plus they may lessen the chances of surgery to fix your flat feet.
Obesity or overweight is one of the major causes of flat feet. If you have weight more than normal, there are high chances of you getting flat feet or it can also worsen your flat feet condition. So its highly recommended to lose some weight in order to relax your flat feet.
If you lose weight, its going to relieve many other health conditions along with flat feet. As the weight goes down, it provides better blood flow to the feet along with dispersing the pressure.
According to research, obesity and flat feet have a strong connection with the former highly affecting the later one. So if you lose weight, you will see a clear difference in your flat feet condition.
Who doesn’t know the health benefits of exercise? A 15 minutes workout daily can have countless health benefits. For flat feet, exercises have proven to be one of the best remedies.
If you don’t want to go for professional physical therapy for your flat feet, here are the best exercises to do at home in order to help your flat feet.
The first workout technique to relieve flat feet is heel stretches. Heel stretching can help increase the feet flexibility by regularly working out the feet muscles.
How to do:
- The first thing you need to do is stand with your hands resting on something (wall, chair, handle) at your eye or shoulder level.
- Then put your one leg forward and the other one extended behind you.
- Put the pressure on heels and press both heels firmly onto the ground.
- Keep your back straight and push your front leg downward by bending it and put your body force onto the wall or chair in front of you. It will stretch your back leg and Achilles tendons.
- Hold this stretched position for 25 to 30 seconds (it’s better to start with shorter time span and then gradually increase it)
- Repeat this process for the other leg.
- Do each side for a minimum of 4 times.
Tip: Wear tight clothes to minimize any huddles while stretching.
The next exercise which might help you relieve flat feet symptoms in arch lifts. This is a very basic and simple workout technique and just like other mentioned exercises, you don’t need any equipment for this one too.
How to do:
- Stand straight onto the ground and make sure your feet are directly underneath your hips.
- Make sure your toes are touching the ground the entire time.
- Lift your feet from inwards and put all the weight on the outer wedges of the feet. But don’t let your toes lift off the ground.
- Lift your feet from inside as much as you can.
- Then relax your feet. Repeat it from 10 -15 times.
- This way you will train the arch muscles to have more flexibility.
- You can also take pauses in between to make your feet adjust. For instance, do 2 to 3 sessions of 10-15 repetitions.
Tip: Stand near a wall to prevent any possible fall or injury.
To check out all of the effective workout techniques for flat feet, read our guide on how to strengthen flat feet.
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