FLAT FEET: IS THERE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT?

Pronators

If you are flat footed, you are a “pronator”, which means that your arch spreads out as far as it can and in fact spreads out enough for the tarsus (midfoot) to actually touch the surface of the ground.

While most people would consider this type of foot to be the worst to have, actually it’s not, provided you take steps (no pun intended) to prevent the amount of damage that will occur over time.

What are Flat Feet?

A flat foot is a highly flexible condition, that goes through a greater range of pronation motion than any other type (i.e medium or high arches) and therefore a lot of wear and tear.  Most flat footed people do not have problems until later in life (say men in their 50’s and women in their 40’s), but when they do finally feel the effects of all the mileage they’ve spent walking, running, jumping etc, it is much more difficult to reverse the years of inflammation that has finally resulted in pain, and there is likely to be more visible bony effects such as bunions, hammertoes or spurs.

Prevention is the Key: Orthotics

The key is prevention rather than wait to effect a cure. To do that you have to address the underlying condition of the repetitive motion of the arch spreading out as far as it can with every step. A simple over-the-counter support can help to minimize the arch motion and reduce and slow down the effects of wear and tear. This means, don't wait for signs or symptoms, get some support.

If you are already feeling the effects of this type of foot, you may want to consider a more precise fitting orthotic, which will render the maximum amount of protection.

Understand that there is no permanent way to train the arch so that it stands in a better position by itself without artificial support, even though there are countless muscle strengthening exercises being touted to say that there is.

Supporting the arch improves bio-mechanical efficiency in and of itself. Like eyeglasses remove the orthotic and everything goes back to the way it was.