Many people think they are born with flat feet and that some people are simply, flat-footed. While it’s true that some people are flat-footed for most of their life, over time we all become more and more flat-footed since our arches collapse as we age. It’s possible that someone with flat feet feels no pain. However, if your arches collapse over time, causing your feet to become flatter, you will likely experience pain and discomfort.
Arthritis is another contributing factor to foot pain (as well as pain in other joints throughout the body), and flat feet and arthritis are often co-occurring issues. What many people do not realize when they are experiencing pain is that the source of their pain could be their feet, even if they’re having knee, hip, or neck pain. So, let’s discuss how custom orthotics are one of the best ways to ease pain caused by flat feet and/or arthritis.
Flat feet and fallen arches need treatment when a person is feeling pain or discomfort. What is deceiving to most people is that the pain and discomfort need not be in their feet. Those with knee, hip, lower back, and neck pain are likely experiencing it because of an imbalance in their feet. Therefore, treating that discomfort through custom orthotic insoles, can be the key to regaining comfort.
The arches of the feet, of which there are three, act like springs to help distribute our body weight and move with ease. As we age, the ligaments in the arches naturally tear and separate, causing our arches to fall, which is why many people experience foot pain. However, the pain caused by flat feet or falling arches is often mistaken as arthritis or plantar fasciitis and not treated effectively, self-treated incorrectly, or not treated at all.
When the arches of our feet change, it causes the rest of our body to redistribute our weight. This is why some of the most common areas people with flat feet or fallen arches experience pain are the calves, knee, hip, lower legs, and lower back. An indicator that the arches in your feet have changed is to examine the wear on the bottom of your shoes. If you are noticing uneven wear across both shoes, then you are a great candidate for orthotics because this will help re-balance the distribution of your body weight and help regulate your gait.
Flat feet have several causes. One is genetic or hereditary. This explains why some people really are born with flat feet. It’s also why Foot Levelers makes customized orthotics for kids so that they don’t experience any of the pain and discomfort of flat feet while growing and living an active lifestyle. Another cause can be related to a foot or ankle injury, as well as diabetes and obesity.
There is also a strong correlation between flat feet and arthritis, making the use of orthotics, even without pain or discomfort, essential for healthy living. Flat feet cause less stability in the ligaments which can result in more strain on the joints of the body. If this continues for a long period of time, arthritis sets in.
On the other hand, if someone is already experiencing pain and discomfort related to arthritis, treating the feet with custom orthotics could provide greater relief than traditional arthritis remedies. Wearing an orthotic insole made specifically for each one of your feet (which tend to be very different rather than carbon copies), can help reduce stress on your joints. When we experience pain in our joints, we adjust our bodies accordingly, which sometimes means that we walk more heavily on one side, carry our weight unevenly, or use one part of the body more than another. Over time, this increases stress and leads to greater discomfort. However, when someone wears orthotic insoles, the need to favor one side of the body over the other diminishes. Therefore, pain is reduced over time, rather than increased.
Regular chiropractic care and adjustments can help ease the pain and discomfort related to flat feet and arthritis, too. In fact, receiving regular chiropractic adjustments in tandem with wearing custom orthotic insoles, prolongs the positive effects of adjustments. Many chiropractors understand the importance of healthy, functional feet for optimal operation of the entire body. Thus, it is common for chiropractors to examine your feet first and suggest the use of custom orthotics to relieve and avoid pain.
In sum, whether you are born flat-footed or not, the arches of your feet will inevitably fall throughout your lifetime. If you are experiencing foot pain then do not ignore it because relief could be as simple as sliding in a Foot Levelers insole. But, if you suffer from arthritis, there are additional options for increased comfort, including chiropractic care and customized orthotic insoles for pain relief.