Why do we have arches?
Our feet work very hard. They get us through our day and keep us moving forward whether it is for work or fun. You probably don’t think too much about how hard they work until you start to have pain in your feet. But they do work hard, and each part of the foot has an important part to play, including the arch.
What do our arches to?
The arch serves an important purpose, and having that arch built in is actually a brilliant piece of design work. Arches are a simple way to give strength, balance, and flexibility to the feet and legs. Some people can tell just by looking at their feet that they don’t have any arch. You might also notice pain in the heel and arch area and swelling around the ankle if your arch isn’t sufficient. People who don’t have “enough” arch have a condition known as “fallen arches” or “flat feet.” This is a very painful condition, so much so that it could qualify a soldier as unfit for duty in the last century. Having flat feet puts extra stress and tension on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the feet. It also adds extra stress on the legs. Flat feet can make it difficult to walk, stand, and run, and people with flat feet are more at risk for problems such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain, which only gets worse if it isn’t treated) and even knee arthritis.
What can be done about flat feet?
Your doctor will perform a thorough exam, including possibly an x-ray or CT scan, to determine exactly what is wrong with your feet. He or she may recommend stretching exercises, physical therapy, or arch supports that fit in your shoes to give you extra support. You may try over-the-counter pain relievers for painful feet, and you should avoid activities that aggravate feet, such as standing for long periods of time (although this isn’t always possible!).
Your feet have an important job to do – help them, and yourself, by calling Specialty Orthopaedics in Harrison, New York, if your feet are always in pain. Call at 914-686-0111 today!