Flat feet, a common condition that allows your entire foot to touch the floor when you stand, is usually painless, but complications may occur if you increase the amount of time spent walking or exercising. The condition, which normally occurs when your arches don’t develop during childhood, can cause your ankles to turn inward. As your ankles turn inward it throws off the alignment of your legs, resulting in ankle and knee problems.
Additional symptoms of this condition that affects over a quarter of Americans include:
- Swelling along the inside of the ankle
- Foot pain
- Severe heel pain
- Shin splints
- Achilles tendinitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Postural strain
- Difficulty standing on your tip toes
Having flat feet usually puts more stain on the delicate ligaments and tendons that support the foot and ankle. This may cause the fragile bones to collapse, resulting in heels spurs, ankle sprains and hip and lower back pain. Providing the proper support is the key to preventing injuries and pain from flat feet.
The symptoms of flat feet can often be treated with shoe inserts designed to support the arch. Shoe inserts help raise the arch and realign the foot in order to reduce pain and distribute weight evenly. Distributing weight evenly can help minimize the strain placed on your knees and spine. The heel cushion included in the shoe insert helps reduce the shock your foot feels when walking moderate distances on flat feet.
If you are planning on walking, running or exercising for an extended period of time you should consider wearing a brace or ankle support. A lace-up ankle brace is the perfect choice for people with flat feet because you can control the tightness of the brace and easily remove it when it is not needed. Consider purchasing a top of the line brace, such as the Ankle Lok® brace, which has a short curved heat sealed arch that fits the contour of the foot. The arch of the Ankle Lok® brace is seamless so it does not irritate the bottom of the foot.
Developing flat feet later in life from a traumatic injury to your foot or ankle is also common. In this case an ankle brace isn't just recommended when exercising, it is necessary. Hinged ankle braces may be the best choice for those that have experienced a distressing injury to their foot or ankle because they offer more stability than soft ankle supports. The hinged ankle braces are very comfortable and fit easily into most shoes. Many hinged braces, such as the Ossur Rebound Ankle Brace, come with an optional stability strap that provides extra support while requiring less plantar flexion.
When making the decision to treat your flat feet with shoe inserts, ankle braces or nothing at all, it is always better to err on the safe side. Looking at the cost of surgery and rehabilitation it becomes evident that injuries are cheaper to prevent than treat. Purchasing the proper brace is an affordable way to protect your delicate feet and ankles.
About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality ankle brace, knee brace, or lumbar brace please visit www.mmarmedical.com.