Fallen arches are a condition of the feet that can cause pain and discomfort when the arch in the bottom of your foot collapses. The pulling of the Tendons that attach at the heel and foot bones form the arch (the upward curve in the middle of the foot) When the tendons do not pull as they should the condition of fallen arches arises.and your feet may appear flat. Several tendons in your foot and lower leg work together to form the arches in your foot. When the tendons pull properly your foot forms a moderate, normal arch. When tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch.
If you do a an arch water test you might notice when you see your bare footprint that the arch is not visible in the print.
Causes of Fallen Arches
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of fallen arches.
•Torn or stretched tendons.
•Damage to the posterior tibial tendon.
•Bone fractures or dislocation of bones.
•Obesity and Aging.
Symptoms of Fallen Arches
•Foot pain, particularly in the arches or heels.
•Leg or back pain.
•Swelling and tiredness in the feet.
•Difficulty moving the feet.
•Improper balance on feet which in turn causes other biomechanical injuries such as back, leg and knee pain.
Treatment Options for Fallen Arches
•Elevation of the feet and application of ice to ease discomfort and reduce swelling, Rest
•Exercises to stretch the feet.
•Medication such as anti inflammatories.
•Orthotic insoles or customised arch supports to wear in your running shoes.
•If you have fallen arches and periodically experience pain related to that condition it is a good idea to get custom arch supports to wear in your footwear to prevent the reoccurence of pain and the worsening of the condition.
If your fallen arches are genetic but you are not experiencing any symptoms then you probably may not need to seek treatment.
In severe cases of fallen arches, surgery may be required to correct the problem.
Flat feet have alot of flexibility causing the sole of the foot to become very unstable when on the ground. This can lead to reduced shock absorbancy and subsequently pressure on the joints of the leg and the stress on the muscles trying to control the movement of these joints.
Symptons of Flat Feet
Flat feet can cause a myriad of symptoms.
•Pain in the foot, heels, arch, calves, the shin, the knee, the hip and into the lower back due to overworking of the hip flexors.
•Standing on the tip of your toes can be difficult.
Treatment for Flat Feet
Using recommended orthotic insoles or running inserts and proper running shoes to ensure the following
•Control how the foot hits the ground.
•Support the middle of the foot and prevent the arch collapsing.
•Promote normal movement in the front of the foot
Treatment for all the above problems are often combined with a physiotherapy session in order to help develop a stretching and strengthening programme for the back of the legs and the pelvis in order to allow the return of the normal function of the foot.