Fallen Arches

aka Pes Planovalgus foot

Fallen Arches Cause Excessive Pronation

There are many people who have arches which collapse and fall at some point throughout their life. Fallen arches can be a painless condition, however, when your feet lose the structure of their arch it alters the alignment of your legs and can cause misalignment throughout your body. The misalignment can cause discomfort and pain which can affect not only your feet but also your ankle, calf, knee, leg, and back because of the extra strain caused. If you are suffering from fallen arches, insoles could have a very drastic effect in helping to realign your structure and help you live pain free.

What is it?

Fallen arches occur when the longitudinal arch of the foot no longer has integrity and flattens. When a person has a fallen arch, the entire sole of their foot comes into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. At times this condition is also called a flexible flatfoot because when the patient is non-weightbearing the structure of an arch can be seen but flattens out upon standing. Those who do have painful feet from fallen arches may experience symptoms such as pain in the heel and arch area or swelling along the inside of the ankle or inside the bottom of the foot. Some people may have ankle, knee, hip, leg, and back pain related to low arches because this condition can alter the alignment of your legs. Someone may also experience foot fatigue or stiffness in the feet due to fallen arches.

What Causes it?

Fallen arches are often caused by a postural deformity in which the arch of the foot collapses over time. This happens when years of wear and tear weaken the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and supports your arch.

At times fallen arches develop after an injury. The posterior tibial tendon is the main support structure for the arch of your foot. The tendon can become inflamed (tendinitis) or overused, and sometimes it can even become torn. Once the tendon is damaged, the arch shape of the foot may flatten. Flatfooted runners are prone to overuse injuries and should be sure to wear proper support in order to prevent injury.

What Can I do?

One of the most important treatments for fallen arches is a structurally supportive shoe. If you have associated pain, over-the-counter orthotics or insoles may also help very much. Or your doctor might suggest custom-designed arch supports, which are molded to the contours of your feet. Arch supports won’t cure flatfeet, but they often reduce symptoms.

It is also generally best to avoid walking barefoot, because every step taken with a fallen arch causes misalignment that has a chain reaction up through the body. Even when in the house a supportive slipper or house shoe can provide great relief and prevent future problems that fallen arches cause.

Athletic shoes that have the terms “motion control” or “stability” in their name can be very good for this foot type. This is because a fallen arch has excessive motion and flexibility which needs to be controlled by the shoe. An arch support with a deep heel cup to help support the integrity of the arch can also be extremely helpful in pain relief, body alignment, and preventing injury to the foot.

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