Content Courtesy of Foot Levelers.
The Importance of Custom Orthotics
When a foot is severely pronated, or flat, it means its arches have fallen. Flat feet are less shock-absorbent, and make for a less stable “base” for everything above—the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the entire body. Feet are the body’s foundation. Flat feet can cause pain in other parts of the body. Pronation/flat feet can cause the following ailments:
- Foot pain
- Hip pain
- Neck pain
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Shin splints
- Plantar Fasciitis
Women with flat feet are 50 percent more likely than those without to have low back pain.1 Imbalances throughout the body also exist when one arch is lower than the other, creating asymmetry. The pelvis may drop slightly as the leg’s support structure—the foot—drops. The body may lean slightly to the side. The muscles and tendons must work harder, yet less efficiently, to “make up” for the imbalance.
The vast majority of people over pronate.
Causes of Flat Feet
The connective tissue or plantar fascia on the underside of the foot is critical to maintaining the foot’s healthy arched shape. Injury and certain health conditions can cause the fascia to stretch out and flatten, but so can everyday, ongoing stressors like walking and standing. Repetitive, low impact force over time can be just as devastating as a sudden, high impact force. Everyone patient is at risk for flattened feet. Once the fascia stretches out, it is unable to “spring back.”
Risk Factors Include
Some Common Causes of Flat Feet are
- Stress over time of everyday activity; walking, standing
- Injury (stretched/torn ligaments, broken bones)
- Birth abnormality
- Health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve problems
- Chiropractic adjustments to ensure proper positioning of bones and joints.
- Wearing orthotics in every pair of shoes; these provide support and comfort for flat feet, while helping to control excessive pronation.
- Exercises to stretch and strengthen the bottom of your feet.