If you have flat feet or low arches, chances are you’ve experienced pain, swelling, or even dealt with a bout or two of plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Without adequate arch support and preventive care, your symptoms for current conditions and risk for suffering foot and ankle injuries can worsen over time. Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, and Rahul Bhatt, DPM, provide flat-feet evaluations and treatment options at Apple Podiatry Group in Arlington and Irving, Texas.
The problem with flat feet
Some people have flat feet from childhood, but it’s also possible for arches to collapse later in life as a result of an injury or from wear and tear. While men and women can go through life with flat feet and experience no problems, others can be more prone to inflammation, pain, and ankle instability.
Arches help keep your feet and ankles in the correct alignment. They also help absorb shock and distribute weight when you stand, walk, and perform physical activity. So if your arches aren’t properly supported, your joints, muscles, and connective tissue can absorb too much force.
What to do if you have flat feet or low arches
You don’t have to take flat feet lying down! Here are a few things you can do to make sure your arches are adequately supported:
See a podiatrist
Even if you don’t have any symptoms or pain at the moment, you could be exposing yourself to problems in the future, especially if you exercise or play sports. In many cases, a pair of custom orthotics are all you need to keep your feet and ankles in alignment and safe from injury.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity and excess weight can put additional pressure on your bones and joints and can contribute to or complicate problems associated with flat feet.
Wear the right shoes
Many men and women choose style over function when it comes to footwear, but this can be especially problematic if you need extra arch support. Men and women with flat feet should generally avoid shoes that offer little to no arch support, such as flip flops, shoes with thin or flat soles, and certain types of high heels.
Look for shoes that will provide the support you’ll need to safely participate in physical activities. Just as playing basketball in your bare feet could be potentially harmful, wearing shoes lacking in arch support could be just as bad.
Don’t skip rest days
Giving your body time to recover after a workout or long day on your feet is an important part of a healthy routine. If you don’t take time to heal and recover, you could be setting yourself up for pain and injuries down the road.
Don’t ignore pain
If you have pain that persists for more than a few days and doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, such as icing, ibuprofen, and rest, schedule an appointment to rule out an injury.
Don’t wait until you’re in pain or dealing with an injury to get help for your flat feet. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Apple Podiatry Group today.