Painful Flat Feet Need Proper Treatment

The last Farmers’ Market of the year in Wheat Ridge is this Thursday, October 30, from 10 AM to 2 PM. For 37 years it has been a great place to get food that is fresh and grown locally. Wandering among the stalls is always a treat, because you can find so many interesting little specialties besides aromatic carrots and beautiful heads of broccoli. Walking for an hour is no treat if you have painful flat feet, though. Here are some ways to help head off the discomfort of this common condition.

Since the pain is caused by the collapse of the arch in your foot, whatever you can do to support and strengthen this foot structure will help alleviate it. You can begin with your shoes. Make sure they are comfortably padded and have enough support under the arch to keep your foot stable. Sometimes an over-the-counter insert or arch wrap can provide a little extra stability.

Custom orthotics have been the go-to treatment for this condition for many years. These inserts that slip into your regular shoes are molded to fit the bottom of your foot and provide extra support exactly where it is needed. This spreads your weight more evenly over your sole and lessens the painful pressure on your plantar fascia—the ligament under your foot.

These along with rest and icing are commonly used to reduce pain and allow you to function, but they don’t change the underlying problem. Once you stop using them the pain can return. That’s where more long term efforts may help. Occasionally stretching and strengthening can relieve symptoms of an unstable flat foot, and rarely surgery is required to make the foot stable again.

Stretches that limber up and lengthen your Achilles tendon and calf muscles can greatly reduce the tension on the plantar fascia. When stretching and strengthening exercises aren’t relieving the pain, or if the pain is associated with swelling, heat or a rapid change in arch height, we considesr degeneration or rupture of the posterior tibial tendon. This is a more serious condition than simply achy feet, and should be addressed promptly.

Let us help you find an answer for your foot discomfort. Contact Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby, Colorado, by calling (303) 423-2520. We want to help keep painful flat feet from limiting your enjoyment of activities like a visit to the market.

Author Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center

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