Anyone with flat feet knows the pains of dealing with fallen arches. Fallen arches can be painful when they develop, but can they be prevented? Pain from fallen arches can be chronic and intense. Several factors can lead to fallen arches, including family history, obesity, and arthritis. These, combined with other factors, can lead to fallen arches developing more quickly. Once fully affected, it can be difficult to reverse fallen arches, but with exercise, they can be mitigated or prevented. If you have a family history of fallen arches, here are the symptoms to look for and potential treatment options.
Causes of Fallen Arches
One of the main causes of fallen arches is posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. The tibialis posterior muscle runs along the lower leg. The tendon runs behind the inside bone of the ankle, attaching to the bottom of the foot across the instep. The tibialis posterior holds the arch of the foot up and stops it from rolling over. If this tendon gets inflamed, it can be called Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) or Acquired Adult Flat Foot. In practical terms, this condition frequently leads to fallen arches. Factors like injury, age, weight, arthritis, and inadequate support can all lead to fallen arches progressing quicker.
Some Stretches and Exercises for Fallen Arch Pain
Fallen arch pain can be reduced or even temporarily relieved through a few simple exercises. One simple exercise involves wrapping a towel around the sole of your foot. Then, extend and hold your leg in an extended position for thirty seconds. Then switch feet and repeat as necessary. You can also stand barefoot on a hard surface, flexing your feet as hard as you can. This activates the muscle. Make sure you don’t roll your feet and that your toes don’t press down.
Another easy stretch anyone can do to reduce fallen arch pain is a tennis or golf ball roll. Sit on a chair with a tennis or golf ball under your foot. Then, while maintaining a straight spine as you roll the ball under it, focus on the arch. After doing this for two to three minutes, you can switch to the opposite foot and repeat. This is an easy way to stretch and exercise the arch without putting additional pressure on it.
Fallen Arches Symptoms: What To Look For
Recognizing fallen arches' symptoms early is the best way to prevent them from getting worse. The first symptom is pain along the inside of the foot or ankle. Also, be on the lookout for pain that gets worse with activity or pain on the outside of the ankle. It can be easy to ignore the pain from fallen arches in these early stages. However, the sooner it is recognized, the sooner it can be treated.
It’s important to recognize the symptoms of fallen arches early. This helps prevent further problems from developing. After identifying the issue, it’s important to wear the right kind of footwear, especially ones that can support orthotic insoles. Orthotics can help support the arches of the foot and compensate for overpronation, reducing the progression of fallen arches. Proper orthotics can also reduce strain on the posterior tibial tendon to alleviate pain and inflammation. Performing strengthening exercises will also help prevent fallen arches.
Prevent Pain from Fallen Arches
If you’re concerned about fallen arches and looking for options, Diablo Foot and Ankle is here to help. Schedule an appointment with one of our podiatric specialists today to find out more information. Our board-certified specialists can help prevent your arches from falling before it’s too late. They can help you find the right orthotics and options to help mitigate it, as well as recommend more exercises.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.