1How do you know if your foot is flat?
There are some methods to apply and observations to make to check if you have flat feet.
- Foot imprint Test – You can make your feet wet. Then you need to stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show like you are on a concrete walkway. Move away now and observe your footprints. In case if the imprints of the bottom of your feet are notable on the surface, you can confirm that you have flat feet.
- You can see the strip connecting the heel to the balls will be wider and of equal size to the front of the foot
- While wearing a shoe the heel portion will feel the heaviness and the shoe top will bend inward
2Are flat feet bad for you?
Of course, individuals disabled by flat feet condition will face many problems such as pain in the ankle, foot, leg and back. The body does not get the needful support to balance while standing or moving.
Flat feet causes leg and back pain, musculoskeletal problems and continual strain to the muscles
Leg and back pain cannot make an individual stand or walk in a balanced position. When the footfalls towards the ground, the lower leg will curve inward. The inward rotation will cause problems, right from the legs to the hips. This results in chronic leg and back pain.
As far as musculoskeletal or bone problems go, it must be understood that your feet are the base for your body to get that required balance to stand or move. If you have abnormal or flat feet, joint injuries will most probably occur and this will pave the way for improper body posture and gait (unusual walking style).
Chronic muscle strain happens because the unstable feet will very much cause undue pressure on the muscles. Although your body might adjust to the flat feet condition to a certain extent, higher level of activities will cause excessive muscle strain.
3How do flat feet affect the body?
Since the feet support the complete human body, flat feet can cause effects on the body. They include:
4How can I fix my flat feet?
Flat feet problem can be fixed by knowing the various types of flat feet, doing some changes at your home and through medical treatment.
Flat feet can be cured through both non-surgical and surgical methods.
The non-surgical methods, primarily consist of exercises. However based on the condition of the flat feet, if the needed surgical intervention can be called for. The basics to be followed are: wearing a tight shoe that has good arch support and avoid wearing of high heels for a long time.
There are some stretching and foot exercises for flat feet individuals, which they can follow and it can help them to get rid of flat feet
- Wearing shoes that give arch support for their foot.
- Sitting on the floor and placing the feet, flat on the floor – Lift the left foot and toe for15 seconds and do this exercise for 5 times, also on the right foot
- Spreading the feet and joining the soles of the heels
- Sit with legs straight and touching the floor where the right leg must touch the last toe finger of the left feet. This can be effective in an arch building in the foot.
- Lift the left upper foot and rest it on the right upper foot
- Sitting on the floor with bent knees and hands folded in the back for support – The toes must be in a held position for 15 seconds
- Join the feet together and spread the heels on both the sides with toes joined – This is a very good stretching exercise that can be performed for few times in a day after taking some breaks
- Put the heels on a tennis ball and the toes must touch the floor
However, in advanced stages of flat feet problems, surgical correction will be required:
Surgical correction is required for people with flat feet when they are not able to recover despite involving in using exercise treatment or orthotic insoles.
The flat foot reconstructive surgery is done to correct the foot deformity caused by a fallen arch due to a damage to the tendon. It is also done to rectify arthritis and the associated pain that is formed in the joints around the heel. The primary objective of flat foot surgery is to correct persons with a deformity in the foot/feet caused by fallen arches and to give them relief from pain.
5Why do flat feet disqualify you from the military/army/airforce?
It is mandatory for a candidate willing to join army/workforce/military to have a good healthy body structure so as to do the intense routine tasks, given.
The military/army/airforce maintain a schedule of regulations to ensure that every new recruit has been found a fit before getting recruited. This is of paramount importance for the concerned recruiters to comply with the rules.
Flat feet persons will never be recruited because:
- For example, the marching exercise given in the army calls for requires a proper coordination of heel to foot movement. Definitely, people disabled by flat feet cannot do this because of their deformed foot/s. There is a high risk of spinal damage for flat feet affected people.
- During tough tasks like say, mountain climbing and combat operations, a flat feet person cannot move swiftly like a normal person
- A flat feet person will never be comfortable by working with his special or orthotic footwear in the army/military/airforce.
- According to certain medical researchers, flat-footed persons will not perform like a normal feet person does while undertaking activities. This is because a flat feet person will feel pain in the feet, ankle and knees. Likewise, there is a high likelihood that knee and hip injuries will occur to a flat feet person.
6Can you run with flat feet?
Indeed, a person with flat feet can run but before that:
- You need to consult a podiatrist who can recommend the ideal arch support for you to run. The ankle and feet must be well supported while you run.
- Pick the correct orthotic arch support inserts as recommended by your podiatrist to wear in your running shoes. Arch support insoles do not make your feet suffer overpronation while you run. It also provides added support to both your foot and ankle. The type of orthotic arch support insert you need will depend on the severity of your condition. This is to be fixed after consultation with your podiatrist.
- You need to rebuild your arches with exercises such as toe curls. You can put a towel in front of you on the floor after sitting on a chair. Place your bare feet on the floor and hold the edge of the towel and place it under your toes and pull it towards you. Now use all your toes and crunch the towel and pull it right in front of you. Do this on a repetitive basis (10 reps or times) each day.
- Run on flat areas to avoid pronation. It must be noted that while running, flat feet people will see their feet move outward where this will make the legs get bent inward. This abnormality will cause enormous pressure on the lower leg wherein pain will also be felt in the ankles and knee joints.
7What is a pes planus deformity?
Pes planus is even referred as Flat feet or fallen arches. It is a deformity that leads to the abnormal posturing of an individual’s foot due to the fallen state of arches, that are present in the foot. It is the arch that provides the connection between the front foot and the hind foot. The abnormal growth of the longitudinal arch in the foot that goes along the sole of the foot tends to become flattened.
According to a research study in the USA, it was noted that at least 25% of the population had people with flat feet where the arches never attained its complete growth either on one foot or the feet.
However, the symptoms of flat feet and the handicap will differ based on the kind of flat feet and the stage of this disease.
8What does pes valgus mean?
Pes valgus is a foot deformity that happens due to the breakdown of the plantar arch resulting in the awkward inside-out bend of the foot at the talocalcaneal or subtalar joint. The term is derived from the Latin words pes, which means foot and valgus, which means bent outward. In Latin, the term pes valgus means foot bent outward.
9What causes flat foot deformity?
Flat foot deformity is caused by hereditary reason, the foremost but however various conditions are also responsible for this deformity to happen, such as:
- Flattening of the arch due to ageing
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Obesity and Pregnancy
- A posterior tibial tendon tear that will cause the arches to fall
10What is valgus deformity of the ankle?
It is a complicated deformity that happens due to a long period of non-treatment of the dysfunctioning of the posterior tibial tendon.
11What is varus and valgus?
Varus and valgus generally mean the angulation that occurs within the shaft of a bone or joint. Based on the positioning of the distal part, the two terms apply. The lateral position of a distal part is called valgus while the medial portion of a distal signifies varus.
12Will flat feet cause back pain?
Yeah. The chain reaction starts with a fallen arch causing inward twist to the ankle, shin and knee, in a corkscrew motion putting stress on the hip and pelvic joints. Then the spine will tilt and the back muscles will strive towards correcting an upright posture.
13Will flat feet cause knee pain?
Yes. It is learnt through some research findings that flat feet will cause knee pain and also knee cartilage damage, mostly noted amongst elderly people.
The weakening of the arch area in your foot and its collapse happens once the feet strike on the ground the lower part of the leg will rotate inwards. This results in higher pressure buildup on the knee structure. Ultimately, the knee alignment will be disturbed and this makes the person with flat feet feel the pain during walking.
14Will insoles help flat feet?
Flat feet condition can be largely improved by wearing orthotic insoles. Some researchers conducted on people with flat feet showed reasonable improvement in their condition through wearing orthotic insoles over a period of time, let’s say after 3 months or even more.
There are some best brand insoles that help people with flat feet to get relief from pain and good arch support. The use of insoles could significantly help the plantar pressure redistribution and increase the contact area.
According to some research done by using dynamic plantar foot pressure patterns made with different support, including shoe-only, flat insole, and three contoured insoles, the contoured insole has good features that help in alleviating local peak pressures.
Comfortable footwear with the best insoles for flat feet patients generally enables the latter to feel the right structure, stability, flexibility and cushioning for their feet.
Some recommended best insoles for flat feet people are:
- Sof Sole Airr Orthotic Full-Length Performance Shoe Insoles – This insole is suitable for flat feet people who do a lot of walking. The nylon cushioning in the insole gives that stability.
- Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles – This kind of shoe insoles have a good arch support with two layers of foam cushioning and antimicrobial cover that is designed with the purpose of reducing heat and friction during each time of its use.
- Tread Labs – Stride Insole – This insole was designed with the main purposes of giving more support and comfort for people with flat feet problems.
15Will losing weight help flat feet?
Weight loss will help flat feet individual to maintain the arch of the foot in proper shape. The arch shape helps in equal distribution of forces through the foot alongside permitting blood vessels, nerves and tendons to pass on the underside of the foot.
16Can flat feet be cured? / What is the home treatment to be cured of flat feet?
Yes, flat feet can be cured by natural methods like foot exercises and stretch. Walking and running with barefoot can itself be a natural way of curing flat feet condition.
However, certain exercises that can gradually cure flat feet comprise:
- Calf Stretch`
- Heel Raises
- Toe Yoga
The home treatment that can be applied are:
- Rest – Take adequate rest and only do activities that are not really stressful for your existing flat feet condition such as jumping, cycling and running. You can go out for casual exercises like walking.
- Medication – Some pain relievers can even give the desired results.
- Weight Loss – Loss of weight can help considerably in reducing the stress that happens on your feet
- Arch supports – You can try out over-the-counter insoles that conform to certain standards like APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) seal of acceptance. You can check out for wearing insoles that properly fit into your shoes and it gives you that arch support and cushioning.
17Can flat feet cause hamstring pain?
Yes, there is an interconnection. Flat feet can cause pain right from the leg to the hip wherein this hamstring problem is involved. Flat feet is also one of the causes of hamstring pain that happens in people.
The imbalanced feet, which we call as the flat feet which when applied with pressure by overstretching of the three muscles in the hamstring area will cause hamstring pain. This overstretch is done to just trying to keep the feet in a balanced state to maintain that running stride.
18Can flat feet cause ankle swelling?
Of course, ankle swelling is indeed one of the symptoms to find out whether a person has a flat foot or not. People with flat feet experience swelling along the inside of their ankle and this also might cause ankle pain. The other thing is that people with flat feet could even feel pain on the outer ankle wherein this would not allow movements like standing on tiptoe.
19Can people with flat feet run fast?
No, flat foot people must learn to run properly with their feet. The intensity of pronation problem that they face by wearing the latest customized shoes will always hinder them from fast running. Customized shoes can only help them to run. So, the question of whether flat feet people can run fast like normal guys is not even imaginable in the first place.
20What are flat feet in toddlers?
The term flat feet in toddlers means children in the age category of 12 to 36 months, affected by this deformity. Flexible flat feet is not a problem as it appears in most of the babies right from the time of birth. Other categories of flat feet are problematic.
21How to fix flat feet with exercise?
There are a set of exercises that help to efficiently manage flat feet problem, namely:
- Calf Stretch`
- Short Foot
- Heel Raises
- Toe Yoga
22Are flat feet genetic?
The genetic condition is also definitely one amongst the many factors that are responsible for causing flat feet. It is researched and accepted by the medical community that genetic factor can undeniably be one of the reasons for flat feet.
23How to cure flat feet naturally?
The natural treatment normally recommended for flat feet includes
- Firstly, obese people with flat feet must reduce their body weight
- Flat feet people with high blood pressure and sugar should lower their blood pressure and blood sugar levels and bring it to the ideal level
- Take rest in your home if you feel consistent pain in your feet
- Excessive strain to your feet should be avoided
- Wear orthotic footwear with specially made insoles (fitting inserts into the shoes),
- Foot bath
- Try to be on bare feet for a major portion of the time each day
- Do toe spread exercise by keeping the toes in a spread position and hold on for at least 10 secs. Do this for a minimal time of 10 reps (times) in a day
- Walking on sand will make your feet strong