Flat Feet: How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Flat Feet: How Can Physical Therapy Help? - Depositphotos 123343846 L e1661335282128

Flat Feet: How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Your feet provide the bedrock for your steady foundations. Here’s why flat feet are so problematic, and what you can do about it.

How good would it be to walk without pain? 

How amazing would it feel to regain your recreational activities? 

How great would you feel not having to battle foot pain on a daily basis? 

This could be you. All we need to do first is diagnose your condition, and if you have problems with your feet, chances are it’s because they are flat. 

Flat feet? 

Yes, really. It’s a thing. And it’s far more common than most people realize. 

Flat feet can be caused by various different factors. These include your genetics, your age, and even your weight – more on that part later. 

Having flat feet can cause considerable pain and discomfort, and make it almost impossible to partake in sports, engage in family events, or even navigate daily life without an impact on both your physical and mental health.

However, it’s not a curse that any individual has to bear. A physical therapist can treat flat feet and suggest accompanying lifestyle changes to keep the pain away – such as special exercises to strengthen muscles, special shoes, or insoles that lift the arch of your foot. 

Not to mention the exercises, stretches, and muscle manipulations that can bring pain relief to those with flat feet. 

All of the advice and activity suggested by a physical therapist will also help to improve your posture, and strengthen your core muscles – making for a better quality of life. 

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What Causes Flat Feet?

Pregnancy causing flat foot

It’s important to grasp what happens to your body if you don’t have an arch in your foot. 

It may seem like a very small problem on paper, but having flat feet is not something you can ignore. And if you know that you already have the condition, it may feel somewhat manageable right now, but you won’t be able to ignore it until you are older. The pain and discomfort will only worsen! 

According to various healthcare sources, suffering from flat feet is a relatively common condition that affects up to 30% of the population. Symptoms arise for every one in ten people, with both feet affected. However, it is possible to suffer the condition in only one foot. 

We’ve already mentioned how age and genetics can cause flat feet, but these factors aren’t the only culprits. Something as simple as wearing shoes that don’t provide the appropriate arch support, or wearing high heels that exert staring on your feet, can be the sole cause (no pun intended). 

You can also cause flat feet by overstretching or rupturing your tendons. Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing flat feet, depending on how they have cared for themselves. Women who are pregnant are also at greater risk, as are those who are overweight. 

Naturally, pregnancy adds weight to the human body, which develops a parallel with anyone who is otherwise overweight. As your arches bear and support your body’s weight, acting akin to your body’s shock absorbers, any extra mass that adds pressure to your biomechanical functions increases your risk of fallen arches (flat feet).

What Does Your Foot Arch Actually Do?

fallen arches

You’ve probably never paid too much attention to the arch of your foot. Yet, having a proper arch is vital to your wellbeing. 

The arches in your foot allow flexibility and range of motion. This elasticity permits the middle of your foot to stretch and spread as you move. As such, your arches are key to your foot’s strength, and also your body’s balance – by helping to distribute your weight in an even and level fashion. 

However, when your foot is flat, other parts of your body have to make up for the lack of even distribution. This can add burdensome stress on your ankles, knees, and lower back; causing inflammation and more pain. And nobody wants that!

It’s not uncommon for those with flat feet to experience no discomfort, leading them into a false sense of security. You don’t need physical therapy if you have no pain, right? 

Wrong. 

You could have a condition that’s slowly building and eating away at your feet. If you also feel pain in the ankle, then flat feet could be the cause. Got back pain when walking? Again, it could be flat feet at play. 

We’d recommend seeing your doctor if you notice the arches of your foot (or in both feet) have collapsed, or if you feel a sudden pain in your lower limbs. If supportive orthopedic shoes are also failing to counteract your discomfort, contact your MD to gain a referral for a physical therapist. We’ll then be able to help you.

Flat Feet: Don’t Ignore Your Foot Pain 

Flat Feet: Don’t Ignore Your Foot Pain 

As tempting as it may feel, don’t stick your head in the sand. It’s important that you don’t just ignore your foot pain – especially when it’s caused by flat feet and a lack of a healthy natural arch. 

You aren’t going to wake up one day to find the problem has solved itself. This condition will worsen over time, and the pain (and lack of mobility) will only intensify. Walking will become more difficult, and your body’s balance will be deeply affected – causing issues with your tendons, joints, and muscles.

Pain will start to show itself in other parts of your body, while your foot also begins to show signs of bunions, plantar fasciitis, blistering, and calluses.

When all of this hits, it’s a perfect combination to ensure that you can barely walk around without crippling discomfort and searing pain. 

Don’t panic, however. Physical therapy can help prevent things from reaching that stage of nastiness. 

Physical Therapy To The Rescue 

Physical Therapy To The Rescue 

At Intecore PT, our specially trained physical therapists will manipulate your foot muscles back into a more natural shape. But don’t worry, we aren’t going to be cracking whips or inflicting pain to achieve this result. 

Physical therapy is a non-injurious form of treatment that aims to keep you out of the hospital’s operation theater. Although you may feel a slight discomfort as your therapist works with the areas of your body that radiate pain, or remain tender, this discomfort will quickly pass. 

Your physical therapist will review your individual issues, and examine your circumstances.

We don’t generalize, as what works for some may not work for others. It’s for this reason that we take the time to get to know you, which helps us to build up a bespoke and personalized plan of care. They will also ask some questions to help determine the bigger picture. 

You’ll be walked through (again, no pun intended) the importance of your foot, and how your body requires healthy feet as a foundation for a pain-free existence. 

The physical therapist will then offer advice on how to deal with flat feet through the use of suggested footwear (shoes that provide substantial support for your arches), insoles that are purposefully designed to relieve pressure on your feet, stretching exercises, and employing a method of correction to adjust your walking pattern. 

More extreme cases may require surgery, but this is discussed on a case-by-case scenario. And even if you do require surgery, we’ll be here to provide support both pre- and post-operation. 

Get Help Today For Your Flat Feet 

Get Help Today For Your Flat Feet 

So, what are you waiting for? 

Suffering from pain in your foot that literally brings you to the floor?

Feeling confined in your own home, purely because walking is so troublesome? 

Avoiding social situations because of mobility issues? 

You shouldn’t have to suffer such a low quality of life. Contact us today, or download this free report, to get the ball rolling for your treatment. 

Just in case you need more information about Intecore PT for reassurance, you should know that I’ve spent more than 20 years working with people aged between 35 and 60 (and a high number of people older than that, too) to help them find pain relief from acute and chronic foot and ankle pain. 

That vicious cycle of medication and rest will do absolutely nothing to get to the root cause of most types of foot pain. Regardless of what you’ve been told, medication is not the answer. Pills only mask the pain. 

The same goes for any advice you’ve been given purely to ‘rest’. Putting your feet up and taking it easy may work in the short term, but it’s not going to get you back to health anytime soon.

What you need is a course that steers you towards a healthy outcome. If you are yearning to get back onto the golf course, remain active with your family, keep up with your grandchildren, or simply go about daily life without flat feet pain, then physical therapy is your answer. 

Reach out to us anytime to book a free Discovery visit, or to ask about our cost and availability. 

We look forward to getting you back on your feet (pun intended)! 

 

 

Andrew Vertson
Latest posts by Andrew Vertson (see all)

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