Is Having Flat Feet a Problem?
Having flat feet, technically known as overpronation, invariably causes a myriad of issues that will continue to get worse unless corrected. Untreated overpronation can lead to imbalances that transmit up through body, including the knees, hips, low back, shoulders and even the neck.
As imbalances slowly get worse, the result is chronic pain during movement. When it hurts to move, we move less often, and the cyclical effect begins to snowball leading to less activity, weight gain, and more pain.
Overpronation Can Lead To:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Achilles Tendon Pain
- Shin Splints
- Pain While Standing or Walking Especially for Long Periods of Time
- Knee Pain
- Hip Pain
- Low Back Pain
What is Pronation?
Pronation is normal movement of the foot collapsing inward toward the middle of the body to absorb transmitted forces while moving. If our foot collapses too far inward (overpronation), a disruption in normal function occurs and it causes additional stress to other body areas.
- As we walk with a flat foot, the leg impacts the floor at a different angle, altering the direction of the pressure as it reaches the knee.
- This causes the knee to cave inward.
- The caving in of the knee causes the hips to shift forward, which can lead to hip and low back pain.
- Do you see a pattern here?
The Key Point Is:
“The Feet and Ankles Literally Form the Foundation of the Human Body.” We learned in Mobility and Stability are The Keys to Movement Efficiency that the foot provides stability to create force production while the ankle allows for mobility. Overpronation will most certainly affect our entire kinetic chain.
- Stand barefooted and look at your feet. Can you see an arch? If not, you have flat feet.
- Pinch your calf muscle. Is it tender? If so, there is a good chance your calf muscles are overactive from improper striking of the feet.
Self Help For Flat Feet:
- Release the fascia through Self Myofascial Release.
- Roll the feet on a golf ball 1 minute every day.
- Use a tennis ball if the golf ball is too painful.
- Start while sitting, and as pain diminishes, stand up and roll.
- Foam roll the achilles tendon and calf to release those restrictions.
- Use a soft ball or lacrosse ball for more advanced rolling of the achilles and calf.
- Use the Fascia Blaster Mini 2 or full size Fascia Blaster to get deeper into the fascia. (Click on link for direct transfer to Amazon). Note: Clicking on Amazon Affiliate links through this web site provides a small monetary return to this web site. There is no extra fee for the purchaser when clicking through this site and all products are delivered through Amazon.
2. Stretch the foot and calf muscles to increase flexibility and retrain correct movement pattern:
- stand with feet in a staggered stance with feet facing forward.
- Gently lean forward keeping both feet in contact with the ground.
- Pull up on the the toes to get a deeper stretch.
- Hold for 30 seconds and switch to the other side.
- Stand barefoot with toes pushed up against a wall.
- Keep the ball of the foot in contact with the floor.
- Slowly collapse the foot into pronation to stretch the plantar fascia then pull it back to neutral.
- Hold for 30 seconds then switch to the other foot.
3. Strengthen the muscles by retraining good walking mechanics.
- Go barefoot and actively pull your arches up by putting pressure more on the outside of the feet.
- Practice raising the toes off the ground while keeping a good arch.
- Practice splaying (spreading) your toes apart before bed every night.
Having chronic pain means people have slowly grown accustomed to the discomfort. Don’t suffer any longer, try these easy solutions to see if we can get rid of your foot pain. It will take a few weeks to see improvements so don’t get discouraged.
This video will outline the steps we mentioned above:
Remember when you move better…you feel better.