If you’ve spent most of your days walking around without any foot pain, consider yourself lucky. But, unfortunately, for many, flat feet, high arches, and plantar fasciitis have caused havoc in our lives.
For some, having flat feet isn’t a problem. But for many, ongoing pain, soreness, and discomfort have become a way of life. For example, did you know that the arches in our feet don’t develop until the ages between 5-7? So if you’re suffering from flat feet, you may notice pain that starts in your heels and arches. Sometimes that pain will increase with long periods of standing.
Dr. Matthew Robison, a podiatrist and owner of Aboite Podiatry, explains that flat feet could lead to further misalignments.
“Untreated flat feet can eventually cause ankle and knee issues,” he said. “While we can’t fix flat feet, there are treatments available to alleviate your discomfort.”
It’s worth a call to your podiatrist — especially if you’re noticing increased pain in your ankles and knees.
Help for Flat Feet
- Arch supports will provide additional cushioning and support while taking pressure off your arches. Consult with your podiatrist about the variety of choices available.
- Physical therapy will help strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet and ankles. Stronger ankles and feet will decrease your overall pain by promoting improved alignment.
- Ask your podiatrist for a list of stretches ideal for flat feet.
- Pay attention to the shoes you wear. Good quality and properly fitting shoes are essential to happy and healthy feet.
Remember walking barefoot in the rain as a kid? Remember all the different footprints left by your friends? If you saw an impression with only the toes and heel showing, that, my friend, is the sign of a high arch.
High arches can cause a multitude of problems. “Most of the problems are related to the way you walk and stand because of your high arches,” Dr. Robison said. The most common problem related to high arches? Plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis causes inflammation of the plantar fascia (a band of ligament that supports your arches and connects your heel to your toes.) “I’ve had patients with pain localized only to their heel, and others where the entire bottom of their foot is affected,” noted Dr. Jaqueline Monroe, a podiatrist at Aboite Podiatry. The pain can be burning or stabbing and the morning’s first steps are generally the worse.
Metatarsalgia. Metatarsalgia is another foot issue related to high arches, and it causes painful inflammation to the ball of your foot. Although the pain lessens during rest, it intensifies with increased activity. The pain associated with metatarsalgia is a sharp or shooting pain near the ball of your foot, numbness or tingling in your toes, or the feeling that a pebble is caught underfoot.
If you feel you may have fallen ill to high arches or flat feet, make an appointment with your podiatrist at Aboite Podiatry. While there may not be a fix, there is help available.