Whether you’ve moved your running program indoors for the winter, or enjoy strapping on your ice cleats and heading out into the brisk winter air in Collingwood, running with flat feet could mean painful problems if you don’t take some precautions. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your flat feet don’t hamper your fitness program.
First, flat feet refers to a lack of arch in your foot. Low arches in themselves don’t usually cause problems, but if you have them, you are more likely to pronate too far. Pronation is part of the normal rolling motion of your feet that allows you to spread your weight over your whole sole instead of just the heel, and moves you forward to push off for the next step. If the foot rolls too far inward, the bones in your feet, ankles, and lower legs can twist out of position and cause pain in your muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Second, shoes matter. If you overpronate, you will want to make sure you run in stability or motion control shoes. These provide extra support under your arch to keep pronation in check. Relieving the stress on tendons, ligaments and bones also lessens the pain that occurs when these tissues begin to break down. Running shoes should have adequate room for your toes, firm backs to support your heels, and should only bend under the forefoot where your foot naturally bends.
Third, if shoes alone don’t provide enough support, come to our foot clinic to see if custom orthotics may benefit you. We will analyze your feet and your gait and design a pair that is molded to your foot contours for best support.
Finally, you can strengthen your arches with certain foot exercises. One example is to sit on a chair with your bare feet on a small towel. Try to move the towel toward you by curling up your toes and pulling. Do this ten times, and then try to move the towel away from you by extending your curled toes out again ten times.
Running with flat feet doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you follow these hints. Let Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic in Collingwood, ON, be your health care provider for problems with your extremities. A simple call to (705) 444-9929 will put you in touch with expert help to help you move and run without pain.
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