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2008 December 27 — Cool Health News
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Treating Flat Feet With Orthotic Insoles
Flat feet is a condition characterized by the arch of your feet becoming weakened, which can potentially lead to serious problems over time. This foot problem is often difficult to detect in babies and small children, since the arch usually develops over the first years. Having flat feet results in foot over-pronation, and can lead to foot deformities; it also affects the posture of a person. However, with the help of orthotic insoles, this problem can be easily rectified in most cases.
Importance of Arches for Healthy FeetThere are less than 5% of the total population who have truly flat feet without the presence of an arch whatsoever. Most people tend to have a low to normal arch, while a high arch is also fairly rare. As we walk or stand for long periods, the arches in our feet collapse every time we take a new step. This unnatural action can lead to overdue stress on the arches of our feet, developing a condition called fallen arches. When the foot arch collapses and the ankle rolls inward, the condition is known as over-pronation. Although pronation is necessary to ensure proper walking and posture, however excessive pronation needs to be corrected. Pronation helps to absorb the impact of our feet hitting the ground while propelling of the feet in a forward direction.
How Orthotics Can Help Flat FeetMany people who suffer from flat feet typically experience foot pain around the heel and arch areas, and can result in a bad posture for the individual. Deformities and disturbances of the entire foot structure as a result of this are not uncommon, and if left untreated, can be permanent. Leg pain and hip pain complaints often originate from improper cushioning and support of the heels and the foot arch. Orthotic insoles are especially designed by podiatrists to provide appropriate foot arch support and heel support. Therefore, orthotics can help reduce pain and discomfort when used consistently.
Understanding the Effects of Over-PronationIt is a proven fact that flat feet can not only affect the walking patterns and gait in a person, but can also impact posture. This improper walking pattern causes a host of other foot problems and pains such as heel pain, heel spurs, and shin splints.
Many people seem to think that only those with flat feet suffer from over- pronation. However, the fact is that even people with a normal foot structure can develop excessive pronation because of excessive foot stress and improper arch support. The biomechanical imbalance while walking as well as standing, combined with the debilitating effects of old age, give rise to various foot problems.
Circumstances That Often Lead to Over-PronationWalking for extended periods over concrete or other hard surfaces, or participating in high-impact sports can cause you to develop excessive foot pronation. Obesity or weight gains during pregnancy can also trigger this condition.
Conditions resulting from over-pronation can include heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints, so in order to prevent them, it is recommended that you wear orthotic insoles that provide the needed arch support and heel support for your feet.