Most people have heard of flat feet, but they may not know whether they suffer from this common condition. While flat feet can be hereditary, there are other causes, like muscular dystrophy, arthritis, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and cerebral palsy. Whatever the cause of your flat feet, you are more likely to suffer foot pain if you have this condition. It is critical that you prevent your arches from further collapsing and prevent your heels from rolling inward.
What can you do to protect your flat feet from getting worse or from causing chronic pain?
- Choose supportive shoes: This is the most important step you can take to protect your arches from further deterioration. Your shoes need to be well-constructed and supportive.
- Consider custom orthotics: Orthotics are effective because they are designed specifically for your feet. They can correct imbalances in your gait, support your arches and give you cushion where you need it most. All these things will reduce the likelihood that you will experience foot pain.
- Stretch and exercise your feet regularly: Stretches and exercises can strengthen the muscles of your feet and increase your range of motion. One-leg balance exercises are very good for this purpose. Standing on the floor, alternate standing on one foot as long as you can. When you can stand on one foot for 30 seconds at a time, use a wobble board and keep practicing.
While you may not be able to completely prevent flat feet, you can take steps to protect your feet and to avoid foot pain.