Which Orthotics Can Help With Foot Arches?
If there’s a part of your foot that you don’t give much thought to until it hurts or is injured, chances are it’s your arch. It provides significant relief to your heel by supporting some of your body weight, and yet it’s usually taken for granted. That is, unless you’re one of the many millions of Americans who suffer from fallen arches (or flat feet) each year.
What Are Fallen Foot Arches?
If you do not have an arch in the middle of the bottom of your foot when you stand or sit, you have fallen arches or flat feet. Flat feet can run in the family, but you can also develop fallen arches as you age. It can also occur as the result of a foot or ankle injury, or a disease like arthritis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, or obesity.
Fallen arches can lead to not only foot pain caused by strained muscles and ligaments, but also pain in your back, hips, and knees due to the unnatural distribution of body weight on your foot.
When your arch hurts, you walk in such a way as to avoid putting pressure on that arch. That’s why fallen arches and flat feet cause body misalignment when you walk and/or run.
While it’s possible for some people to have flat feet or low arches and never feel discomfort, it can cause major problems for others by leading to greater pain over time – or symptoms of other foot and leg conditions such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoe.
How Orthotics Can Provide Relief
There are various kinds of orthotics that can help with foot arch problems. Although orthotic insoles cannot restore your arches, they can help realign your body enough to relieve any pain you’re experiencing. Here are several solutions:
Insoles – Full-length orthotic insoles provide maximum cushioning for those experiencing major discomfort from flat feet and fallen arches. They’re designed specifically to help with arch support and provide an added level of stability and comfort. That’s because the cushioning isn’t just in the middle of your foot (the arch), but it’s offering full support from the ball of your foot to the heel.
Arch Boosters – Of course, in severe cases of flat feet, it takes more than just orthotic insoles to quell the pain. That’s where arch boosters come in handy. They’re pads made of latex foam that are placed directly under your arch and alongside the insoles supporting your heel and the ball of the foot to provide extreme arch support and extra cushioning. These are for people who need a higher arch boost than what the regular inserts provide.
Orthotic Exercises To Try
If orthotic insoles and arch boosters aren’t totally effective in relieving your foot pain, there are orthotic exercises that can enhance your arch support while also realigning your body. These include:
Ø Stretching out your calves to improve your ankle flexibility and prevent further collapse of your arches.
Ø Placing a golf ball under your foot and rolling it back and forth along your arch for several minutes. This is done while sitting down, putting pressure on the golf ball with your arch.
Ø Placing your hands against a wall for balance and standing on your toes, lifting your heels as high as you can. This strengthens the lower leg muscles that support your feet and foot arches.
Ø Strengthening your toe muscles by lifting them one at a time without moving your other toes, as much as possible, while you’re sitting.
Doctors for Fallen Arches and Flat Feet in Central Maryland
For more than 40 years, Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland has provided the highest standard of orthopedic care for patients of all ages. We have offices in Catonsville, Columbia, and Eldersburg, and we utilize sophisticated advances and specialties in the field of orthopedic medicine – such as arthroscopic surgery, minimally invasive procedures, joint replacement, sports medicine, onsite diagnostic imagery, outpatient surgery, and physical therapy rehabilitation for the full spectrum of joint, bone, muscle, back, and related pain conditions and injuries.
Request an appointment online or call us at (410) 644-1880 or toll-free at (844) 215-5993 to schedule your consultation with a skilled physician.