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Here's How Custom Orthotics Can Help Flat Feet

Here's How Custom Orthotics Can Help Flat Feet

High, healthy arches in the soles of your feet act like springs. They bear the weight of your body as you step, leap, or jump and absorb the shocks of the surfaces your feet hit. You actually have three arches in each foot:

If you have flat feet, either your longitudinal arches never developed (they usually don’t appear until you’re 2 or 3 years old) or they’ve collapsed. Your arches may flatten or collapse due to trauma or the normal wear and tear of aging tissues.

At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center, our board-certified podiatrists give your feet the support they need. If you suffer pain or dysfunction due to flat feet, we may recommend customized orthotics at our offices throughout Utah.

Are your feet flat? Here’s how orthotics can help.

Orthotics raise your arches

If you have flat feet, when you stand up, your entire foot collapses against the ground or floor. Not sure if you have flat feet or not? Get your bare feet wet and then stand on cement. Step aside. 

If you see the imprint of your toes, toe pad, heel, and the outside of the foot only, you don’t have flat feet. If the inner part of your foot makes an imprint, too, your arches have fallen and your feet are flat.

Custom orthotics recreate the high arch in your foot when you’re wearing shoes. Your foot is then better able to absorb shocks and move fluidly. Of course, once you’re barefoot again, your arches fall.

Orthotics minimize or end pain

The stress of a fallen arch can stretch or tear important tendons in your feet. They may become inflamed, swollen, tender, and painful.

But fallen arches or other foot problems don’t stay in the feet. They travel up your leg and even into your trunk. That’s because each of your joints affects the one above it.

When you have flat feet, your foot takes the entire stress and shock when you walk, run, or jump. That shock travels up to your ankle, knee, and hip. 

Also, flat feet change your gait, which may cause the tendons, muscles, and ligaments in your foot, ankle, and leg to compensate. By realigning your foot and giving it the support it needs, orthotics take the stress off your legs and back, giving you much-needed relief from pain.

Orthotics increase mobility

Flat feet aren’t as flexible as feet with healthy arches. While this may not be a problem if your main activity is walking, if you enjoy dancing or athletics, or even if you like to jog or run, flat feet can slow you down.

With the support of orthotics, your feet can perform more complex maneuvers without pain. Some studies even suggest that the right, customized orthotics can increase running speed

Orthotics may prevent arthritis

Fallen arches due to stretched or torn ligaments and tendons can lead to arthritis. When supporting tissues lose their strength and elasticity, that can affect the bones they support. 

The bones may shift and start to impinge on one another. The grinding of bone on bone can wear down protective cartilage and lead to arthritis. By preventing the bones from collapsing and shifting, orthotics may prevent arthritis, too.

Put some spring back into your step by correcting flat feet with custom orthotics today. Call our team at the office nearest you or simply book your appointment online today.

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