You can have flat feet and not have a concern in the world. In fact some of the worlds greatest runners have flat feet. On the other hand flexible flat feet can give you all kinds of trouble. It looks like you have an arch when you are off your feet, but once you stand up, your arches drop to some degree or flatten completely. Depending on how you respond to your flat feet, you can have pain under the ball of the foot (metatarsalgia) or heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis). But that's not all. Those falling arches cause misalignment of your body that is the most frequent source of ankle, knee, hip and back pain, sore, tender leg muscles and cramps (shin splints). But like they say on the infomercials - there is more. Flat feet are associated with shoulder and neck pain, scoliosis, even headaches and TMJ pain.
|Common Causes • • • • • • • • • • • • •|
This flattening out of the feet is common in over 80% of the population and especially for those who have an Elevated First Metatarsal or Morton's Foot Syndrome. When your first metatarsal and big toe is not naturally weight bearing, you have to hyperpronate for your first metatarsal to get down to the ground. In studies of "normal" college students the first metatarsal did not become weight bearing until 88% of the weight bearing cycle was over - almost at toe-off.
While some people respond by allowing themselves to freely hyperpronate - they are knock kneed - most people do not like the feeling. Instead, without being aware of it, they use their calf muscles and hip abductors to fight the hyperpronation motion. Along with suffering from muscle overuse, they also end up overcompensating to become supinators. Outside heel wear and some times even outside wear in the forefoot testifies to this compensation response. (Look at the bottom of an old pair of shoes to see what you are doing.)
People who hyperpronate (left) often compensate by supinating (right),
How to eliminate the problem
All the conditions caused by hyperpronating or supinating feet can be very painful and become debilitating when they ultimately develop into osteoarthritis, severe muscle pain and injured, inflamed ligaments and tendons. You can eliminate supination by eliminating hyperpronation. You can eliminate hyperpronation by altering the way you use the muscles controlling your feet and your posture. This can be done consciously, but is more easily done through a natural body process called proprioception - altering the way your brain perceives your feet and their weight bearing position.