Can You Fix Flat Feet? Learn How to Fix Flat Feet For Good!
As a runner with flat feet, I decided to do some research online as well as asking for advice from other runners with flat feet, finding out a few ways to fix it. There are several ways to do it, and most are not so difficult.
First, let’s figure out if whether or not you have flat feet. Usually, you would have some following symptoms:
- Foot pain, especially around the arches and heels
- Standing on your tiptoes difficultly
- Swelling on the inside of the ankles
- Pain in the calf, hip, knee, or lower leg areas from the additional strain
- Shoes fit improperly
- Both feet lie perfectly flat on the ground
- The other ways to determine your foot condition is doing the flat surface test
The easiest way to determine if you have flat feet is to get the bottom of your feet damp (not soaking) and then step onto a dry, flat surface like a patch of sidewalk. A person with proper arches will have crescents of negative space in the footprint where their arches don’t contact the surface. If you see a full imprint of your entire foot, then you may have flat feet
Related: Best running shoes for flat feet
All You Need To Know About Running and Flat Feet
Consulting a podiatrist
If you suspect that you have flat feet, you should consult your doctor or a podiatrist because they will be able to provide a more comprehensive examination.
Your doctor will be able to tell pretty quickly whether you have flat feet or not; however, determining the cause of the condition will take additional tests, possibly including x-rays or an MRI.
According to additional tests, your doctor will determine your case is being caused by a problem with the bones in the feet, a disease (such as arthritis or diabetes), or an injury.
After determining that you have flat feet, there are some recommended tips to help fix your flat feet.
Fixing Flat Feet
The short foot exercise is one of the first exercises that I started using. The target is to “shorten” the distance between the heel and the base of the big toe by sliding the forefoot along the ground. This exercise is good to build arch strength and learning how to hold an arch in the foot.
You may reduce pain by doing exercises that help stretch some of the muscles being uncommonly taxed due to the condition. These stretches will be tailored to the specific areas where you feel pain. A usual stretch for fallen-arch-related calf pain, for example:
Standing Wall Calf Stretch
Downward Dog Stretch
Related: Best running shoes for knee pain
Calf raises are one of the basic exercises for building ankle strength. You’ll see in the picture below that the heels point inward in the top position of the raise. This is an important aspect of the movement.
The muscles that control the toes are not different than muscles that control the fingers in the hand. These muscles are frequently under-used and consequently, lack motor control and strength. Toe Yoga is the exercise pictured below. Simply, it is alternating between pressing the big toe down while lifting the other four toes up, then changing to lift the big toe up while pressing the other four toes down.
When it comes to better footwear, your doctor likely recommends something with a flexible toe and anatomically correct bending point based on your foot, a sturdy heel cup, and stiffness in torsion. You should also consider a type of running shoe with adequate cushioning, great motion control and support.
Related: Best Insoles for Flat Feet
If you experience more than occasional, and have mild discomfort, and you likely get advice to change your footwear and likely getting custom orthotics. Custom orthotics fix the exact contours of your feet based on a podiatrist’s measurements of your ankles and feet based on your specific walk. the Orthotics will not cure the problem, but they will change your gait and foot placement in such a way so as to remove the excess strain placed on your knees, ankles, hips, etc., which should help with the associated pain.
In cases of severe pain, your doctor can recommend an injection of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are ideal for reducing pain due to a tendon injury, inflammation, and arthritis, all of which can contribute to the condition.
While most true cases of flat feet require surgery to correct, many people who began experiencing the condition because of sudden weight gain can fix it by weight loss before their arches truly collapse.
Flat Foot Surgery (Foot Lift)
Basing on the severity of the flat foot, a person’s age, surgery for flat feet is separated into three kinds: bone fusion, soft tissue procedures, and bone cuts.
With flexible flat feet, surgery is aimed at maintaining the motion of the foot and recreating the arch. Commonly this involves tendon repairs along the inside of the foot to reinforce the main tendon that lifts the arch.
With rigid flat feet, surgery is focused on recovering the shape of the foot through procedures that eliminate motion. In this case, motion does not exist pre-operatively, therefore realigning the foot is of utmost importance.
In conclusion, if you previously had felt hopeless because of the pain that is caused by flat feet, now you can confidently say that “I know how to fix flat feet”. There are some simple tips which you can do by yourself that actually help.