"The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art."
-Leonardo Da Vinci
26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments & 19 muscles work together to balance your whole body. No wonder this great artist has named it as a masterpiece.¼ of all bones in the human body are in the feet.
Standing in the kitchen for cooking, walking down to buy vegetables, playing any sort of sports or dancing - all of these activities we can do because of our feet.Healthy feet are key for active lifestyle. Human feet are designed to walk on natural surface like soil and sand, but instead of that we are walking on hard surfaces like pavements, marbles. That’s why Incidence of foot problems is increasing.
At least 80 % of general population has foot problem. Out of all flat feet is most common and unnoticed problem. If it is not diagnosed at the right age, it can lead to serious complications in future.
I get many patient saying, “My physiotherapist told me I have flat feet & my family doctor says I don’t have flat feet, I don’t know what exactly flat feet means”.
WHAT IS FLAT FEET?
We have small gap on the inner side of feet when we stand, when this gap is not there it’s called as flat feet. Everybody is born with flat feet, as a child starts walking his/her arch starts developing. First five years of age are crucial for the arch development.
EFFECT OF FLAT FEET ON POSTURE:
All joints in our body work together. As feet are the base of our body it affects the entire posture.
- Ligament laxity
- Muscle weakness/Hypotonia of muscles
- Fracture/ trauma around ankle joint which can cause injury to tendon
- Family history
- Tired achy legs
- Heel pain, Knee paint & back pain
- Recurrent ankle sprain(Poor Balance)
- Early osteoarthritis of joints
- Corn & calluses etc.
- Orthotics: Custom made orthotics is the main line of treatment for flat feet. People always try to get some off the shelf orthotics & of course it doesn’t help for their problem. Orthotics correction should be based on lots of variables like severity of flat feet, age,weight, lifestyle alignment of proximal joints etc. Thus off the shelf things are not advisable. Podiatrist is a right person to prescribe the orthotics.Podiatry is a branch of medicine specialized in ankle & foot problems.Podiatrist doctor will do thorough assessment of your alignment, diagnose the problem & then provide a customized solution for the same.
- Supportive shoes: The person with flat feet should use shoes with firm ankle control. Sports shoes are best. In many brands there is option of anti-pronatory shoes.
- Exercise: To strengthen foot and ankle muscles.
- Maintain Ideal body weight.