Human feet are rather complicated structures. They contain 25% of all the bones found in your body, are assisted by hundreds of muscles and connective tissues, and can experience an array of injuries and medical conditions. When you think about their functions—supporting your body, providing mobility—it makes sense that we need so much structure down there. If you do not receive adequate support, like when you have flat feet, it can sometimes lead to issues. Learning about your foot arches can help you understand why that happens.
Foot Arch Styles and Function
Everyone’s arches are intended to perform the same inherent functions (bear weight, move body forward), yet not all are identical. There are essentially three variations when it comes to the foot arches:
This is the “ideal” foot arch—not too high, not too low—and is the most efficient of the lot. Individuals who possess this type do not often experience issues on account of their arches.
When someone has an excessively high arch, there is excessive pressure placed on the ball of foot and heel. This structure also leads to supination, which means that the foot does not rotate as much as it should during the gait cycle.
Also known as “flat feet,” this particular arch style can be seen in footprints that are wide and leads to excessive rotation during walking. In addition to footprints, one of the clues that you may have this structural abnormality—and lots of individuals do—is the excessive wear on the bottom of your shoes, especially on the inside edges.
As the foot rolls inward during the gait cycle, the arch flattens, which helps the foot to absorb the tremendous amount of force and stress accompanied with each step. A fallen arch, however, is inefficient with this function and this can lead to issues.
It is common for parents, especially first-time ones, to be concerned when they notice that their child has flat feet. Any new parent wants his or her child to develop in a normal manner and not experience pain while walking. Let us put your mind to ease on both fronts. Children typically do not have fully developed arches until age six.
When your foot arches are not as efficient as they should be—and this is the case with low arches—your feet will generally become tired more quickly than those of someone with a moderate arch style. This structural abnormality can also cause achy, painful feet. Swelling, particularly on the lower inside, may be experienced. As a result of overpronation that often accompanies flat feet, leg and back pain are rather common for active individuals.
Treating Low Arch Issues
The good news about having flat feet is that if you experience issues as a result from them, conservative treatment is often rather successful. Stretching, medication, and a change in footwear to more supportive models might help relieve any pain you experience on account of the low arches.
Orthotic devices or arch supports can reduce the symptoms exhibited by providing the support and structure you do not receive naturally. When it comes to orthotic devices, Dr. Ibrahim Haro will measure your feet and observe your gait to craft a pair that is effective for you.
Do You Suffer From Flat Feet?
If you suffer from flat feet you need to speak with an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Clifton, New Jersey office directly at 973.777.5771 to schedule your appointment today. We look forward to helping you!