The Importance of Orthotics for Flat Feet
Though we may not spend as much time standing up and walking around as our ancestors did, this does not mean we should not take care of our feet. Today, it is known that each foot consists of a complex and extensive structure of bones and soft tissue. For example, you have twenty-six bones, thirty-three joints, and over a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons in each foot. Together, these help to support your body weight and keep you stable and upright when walking and running. If you suffer any pain in this region, you may find comfort by using orthotics for flat feet.
The amount of pressure we put our feet under is immense, even those of us that have a somewhat lethargic lifestyle can still cover a huge distance each day. In fact, it has been suggested that on average, each of us walks more than a thousand miles a year.
If you are suffering from any podiatric problems, orthotics can be the solution that removes the pain that has become commonplace. It is important to take action sooner rather than later, the longer you leave a foot-related problem untreated, the more serious impact it can have on your overall health and state of mind.
When we consider the foot’s anatomy, it should come as no surprise to discover that many millions of us suffer from problems such as flat feet. Though not a life-threatening condition, this is a problem that can end up taking a major toll on your mobility, it can even lead to an impact on your ability to work and interact with your family and friends.
Orthotics are useful as they help in supporting the structure of the foot. If you were to put up with a condition such as flat feet, your weight will not be supported and distributed effectively. Over time this can lead to damage to the ankles, calf muscles, knees, and the hips.
Bad backs are also a common ailment in those of us who have foot-related problems. If you were to correct this bio-mechanical condition through an orthotic insert, you will find that the pain that was once debilitating disappears.
Orthotics help by supporting the arch of the foot and providing cushioning for the heel. They absorb the shocks that occur when walking, jogging and running. This, in turn, creates greater stability and lessens the chance for both mild and serious injuries. The actual inserts can be custom made for each individual, therefore increasing the chance of any foot-related problems from causing discomfort.
If you are reading this article, it is likely because you, or someone you know, is suffering from a podiatric related problem. The best strategy you can take up is to make an appointment with your nearest specialist and ask for information relating to orthotics for flat feet. You will be amazed at the difference this simple product can have on your life. It does not matter what your age or activity level, foot problems are not a condition that you have to tolerate.
Flat Feet Surgery and Other Treatment Options
A podiatry problem which does not respond positively to regular therapy and treatment may require specialist flat feet surgery to correct the underlying condition. Not every foot-related disorder causes a problem, but those that do can produce a considerable amount of pain. Complications can have a serious impact on the quality of life which in turn can affect personal and work relationships.
A flat foot exists when bones that usually make up the arched shape of foot collapse. There are a number of different causes of these problems, therefore the treatment which is prescribed can also differ. For example, in some people the problem may be of a congenital nature, that is to say, they were born with the condition, whereas in others, the symptoms may be as a result of an injury or even ill-fitting footwear.
When an individual with flat feet attempts to stand, their inner foot flattens and the foot has a tendency to roll to one side, a condition known as over-pronation. Over-pronation puts a considerable amount of strain on muscles and ligaments, which in turn can lead to joint swelling illnesses such as arthritis. In severe cases, it would result in immobility to the extent that walking is not possible and a mobility device such as a wheelchair would need to be used.
If the treatment given by a GP is not sufficient, patients will normally be referred to as a professional podiatrist for help. Prior to surgery being given, the podiatrist may suggest the use of a special appliance to help in correcting the problem. There are orthotic inserts that can be used inside shoes to help give support to the arch of the foot, these wedges can help in relieving symptoms, but they are unlikely to address the root problem.
There are various factors that should be considered before surgery is given the go-ahead. Apart from the actual level of deformity that is present, as indicated in the medical diagnosis, the patient’s activity level, weight, and age will all be analyzed.
The time necessary to recover from the surgical procedure will depend upon the type of procedure that is to be performed as well as its intensity. The success rate for surgical procedures used to correct flat feet is high. Most patients are able to increase their level of mobility within weeks of the operation.
To minimize the chance of a further problem developing, it is essential to listen to the advice given by the surgeon and podiatrist. With the right care and precautions, the need for further treatment can be removed. As with any medical procedure, it is important to only give approval only after analyzing all the facts.
Apart from the actual benefit of having the operation, it is useful to develop an insight into the expertise of particular clinics and surgeons that work in this field. By using the right approach and determining the most suitable solution, it is possible for flat feet surgery to fix podiatric problems in their entirety.
Flat Feet in Children: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
A flat foot is a common condition whereby the arch of the foot collapses and the whole sole comes near-complete or into complete contact with the ground. In some cases, the arch never develops at all. The condition can affect one foot or both. Flat feet in children and adults are very common.
In infants, a flat foot is usually common and normal because the foot usually has baby fat and it is not fully developed. The arch starts developing in infancy as part of the bone, ligament, tendon a muscle growth. By the age of 3 to 6 years, the arches are well developed in most children. As the child continues to grow, these arches continue to become higher and proper.
Parents should take an interest in the feet of their kids. They can easily notice if a child begins to walk clumsily or oddly. They can also notice the kid walking on the outer edges of the foot or limping after walking or running. Such a kid may feel fatigued or foot pain during walks and experience pain on the calf muscles or around the foot area. Discomfort or pain could also develop in knee joints due to the abnormal foot mechanics.
If by the age of 3 to 6 years you notice any flatfoot deformity in your child, it would be advisable to consult a foot specialist. Examination at this early age is important as this young foot is largely made of cartilage and has less bone. Since cartilage is quite soft, the abnormal forces that cause flatfoot deformity could cause irreversible structural alterations to the joints and bones. Such alterations may persist into adulthood.
The treatment may vary depending on the degree of deformity. A mild condition may not require treatment although yearly check-ups by a podiatrist would be advisable. Mild or severe deformity requires treatment. A simple treatment is walking barefoot on terrain that gives the muscles a good workout. Using supportive shoes like high-tops plus some types of in-shoe inserts like arch padding can also be of great help.
More severe cases require treatment that provides more exacting control of the abnormal movement of feet. This includes functional foot orthotics which limit the shape of the abnormal flat arch. It also prevents the heel bone from rolling in when the child performs activities that help to improve the function and appearance of the foot. Such activities include running, walking or standing.
It is advisable to use these natural methods before going for more complex methods. If the flatfoot deformity is severe and disabling and does not respond to natural treatment, the doctor may recommend some more advanced treatment such as surgery. This treatment has various benefits and also some risks.
Flat feet in children is a very common problem. Various complications are associated with a flat foot. Firstly, it looks amusing and unattractive and may attract undue attention to the child. It also makes the feet less efficient in performance since the problem causes instability of the foot when walking. This condition is treatable if arrested early enough.
There Are Various Options for Flat Feet Treatment
Flat feet treatment is required when a person’s foot arches have dropped down. This condition is also known as fallen arches. The arches themselves may not present a problem, but they can lead to pain and cause other ailments in the body’s skeletal structure. There is no real cure, but there are some options to alleviate this disorder.
The most common form of flat feet treatment is shoe insoles. These can be obtained in a wide range of manufactured types, or they can be custom-made for an individual. Insoles are designed to support and protect foot arches. With this support, the pain is significantly reduced.
The areas most commonly affected by fallen arches are the ankles, hips, and legs. A doctor can prescribe specific medications to relieve pain. These include steroids, anti-inflammatory drugs, or strong painkillers. While medications do help with the symptoms, they do not address the underlying issue of fallen arches. Therefore, drugs are not a long-term solution, plus they have unpleasant side effects.
Other flat feet treatment options are chiropractics or a process called prolotherapy. Chiropractic care can often be effective because the fallen arches may be a result of some other skeletal disorder. Prolotherapy involves the use of inflammatory stimulants over a period of time. These help to strengthen damaged tendons, enabling the body to heal itself. For some, this provides a permanent solution.
Many people suffer from pain long-term. Some can tolerate pain, while others cannot cope due to the severity. In such cases, surgery is the only solution. During the procedure, the tendons are repaired and it may be necessary to fuse the joints. This will reposition the joints in correct alignment with the ankle and foot.
While surgery is successful for some people, it does not work for everyone. There are associated risks such as infection and complications. In addition, the fusions might not heal as anticipated. Even after surgery, some patients still experience pain although it is less severe. The earlier fallen arches are treated, the better. Early intervention increases the chances of repairing them. The level of success achieved with various treatments depends on several factors. These include the severity of the condition, the amount of pain suffered, the patient’s age, and how long the condition has been untreated.
Exercises should accompany any type of flat feet treatment. They are designed to strengthen and build up the muscles around the arch which takes the pressure off the tendons. Exercises range from picking up objects with the foot, flexing, or using the foot to play tug of war.
One of the most effective flat feet treatment exercises is rolling up a towel with the toes only. This directly targets the muscles that prevent the arch from dropping. The way to do this is to sit comfortably on a chair with each foot flat on the floor. The knees should be at an angle of 90 degrees. Put a towel in front and place each foot on it. Roll the towel away from the body, using the toes only. This exercise should be repeated 2 to 3 times.
Tips On How to Get the Best Flat Feet Shoes
There are certain deformities that man cannot avoid. Deformities that has no cure and one does not have a choice but to live and adjust with it. A person having a flat foot is one example. It may be a minor deformity, however, it still affects the life of the individual especially when they walk. Thus, flat feet shoes are needed to make them live their lives as normal as they can be.
Flat foot or which can also be called fallen arches is a medical condition in which the arch of the foot comes into complete contact with the ground. There are people who are born with it, others got it from serious accidents. Whatever the reason is, this condition is uncomfortable as ever.
Persons with this condition do not have any choice but to adjust to it. As walking or running is an essential part of life these people have to have flat feet shoes to be comfortable doing it. It is better to find an idea that will make them use their foot to its optimum capacity.
As this condition affects the foot, looking for the correct footwear is quite different and more difficult than normal. The arch of the foot may not seem too important, but this is what assists everybody in walking or running. The arch is what provides balance and stability. Hence, finding footwear that gives those two is on the top priority.
The best way to choose for this footwear is first, check the arch support of the footwear, one may as the sales attendant to find footwear that has an added support, motion control and stability label on it. This is mostly the shoes that are designed for this condition. Choose also footwear that has an adjustable strap on it, this will most likely add support to the foot.
Squeezing the heel counter of the footwear which wraps around the heel of the foot is a great help as well. As one squeezes it, try to see if it is firm enough. Firm heel counters will provide more support to the foot rather than softer ones that will only allow the affected foot to collapse.
It is recommended to turn the footwear over and check the sole of it. The sole needs to be straight. Never a curved one or a narrow one. This will allow people who have this condition to have a wider base when walking not to mention the additional support it provides.
It is also advisable to measure both feet when looking for footwear. Stand when one’s foot is sized, choose the size that fits the larger foot. Make sure that the footwear fits on the widest part of the foot. A good footwear should neither be too tight or too loose. Tight ones will impede blood circulation, while loose ones will make walking and running be more uncomfortable.
Lastly, it is best to try on walking with the flat feet shoes around the shop to test if it is comfortable enough and most importantly efficient with the condition at hand. It may take time when finding the right footwear but the comfort and the relief it can give can be all worth it.