Fallen arches are otherwise known as “flat feet.” Essentially, the area in the bottom of your foot where an arch should be is no longer there and has flattened or is not as high as would be considered “normal.” This can be congenital, or something you were born with, but often especially since we spend so much time in shoes and sitting that it can also be made worse by weakening foot muscles. Even weak hip muscles can contribute to falling arches.
In some cases, they can be a problem. Many people have abnormally lower arches and can have a relatively minor problem with pain. However, often fallen arches can become an issue when a person:
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You might even have knee or hip issues due to fallen arches. A foot with this problem often does not help to absorb shock when you take a step, so joints above it take on that extra force. If you choose to swim or bike and avoid heavy physical activity that requires you to be on your feet for a prolonged period, you are less likely to experience pain.
You are more likely to have specific foot conditions which can cause pain. Some of these may be a bunion on your big toe, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis, to name a few. As mentioned above, you can also have some pain in the knees or hips due to fallen arches.
YES! In some cases, you can strengthen your foot, leg, and hip muscles, improving your condition before you have pain. Also, some of us are in a bad habit of allowing ourselves to flatten our feet when standing or walking, similar to allowing our knees to lock when we stand. One thing to start doing now is to see if you can stand without allowing your arch to flatten as much.
Fallen arches, as discussed above, can often be a cause of many different things: habit, weakened muscles of the foot or leg, abnormal joint movement, etc. Physical Therapist is in your best interest in improving these things because there is no one size fits all. A Physical Therapist can evaluate you from your foot to hip and consider all factors to create a plan that would work best for you. Don’t wait until you have increased in pain or start a new exercise program that will require you to stand, run, or walk.
Call our office right away at (985) 869-7221 and speak with one of our Physical Therapists
about a plan of care.