Tips for Running When You Have Flat Feet

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, as it offers benefits like improving blood circulation, decreasing problems with cardiovascular health, reducing weight gain, and keeping bones and joints strong. However, overworking joints, muscles, and other tissue can lead to injuries which make exercising more difficult. 

Another problem that can make physical activities like running harder is having flat feet. But you can continue running and doing other exercises even if you have flat feet. 

If you live in the Wheat Ridge, Thornton, Evergreen, or Granby, Colorado, areas and you're struggling with flat feet or other foot problems, our team of podiatrists at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center can help you find relief.

Let’s examine some tips for running with flat feet by examining the causes and risk factors of this condition, the reasons it can affect your running, and some best practices for exercising with this ailment.

Causes and risk factors of flat feet

Flat feet can be caused by several issues, such as a lack of developing deep arches during childhood, collapsing arches from injury, the weakening or tearing of your tendons, or years of wear-and-tear. Various conditions can increase your risk of developing flat feet, including obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and aging.

Reasons flat feet affect running

It’s important to know that problems with running with flat feet aren’t guaranteed, but it does increase your chances of getting injured while running. 

People with flat feet tend to have either low arches or none at all, which can lead to overpronation (when your foot rolls inward), causing your legs to collapse inward with every step. Left untreated, this can lead to other problems like shin splints and pain in your lower back, hips, knees, and ankles.

Best practices for running

Here are some tips for best practices to improve running with flat feet:

Exercises

There are several strength-building exercises to help your feet, including arch lifts, marble pickups, heel raises, heel walking, and toe walking. Aerobic exercises can also help with fallen arches that result in flat feet.

Massages

Stretching is common to loosen muscles prior to physical activity, but for flat feet this doesn’t help because it can lengthen your muscles and cause more instability. Massaging prevents your muscles from getting too tight. 

Massaging techniques like gently rolling your foot over a golf ball, massaging your arches with your thumbs, dry needling, and using massage guns can help your feet before and after running.

Proper footwear

Improper footwear can lead to many foot problems. Motion control or stability shoes are really good for flat feet, and you can even try store-bought arch supports to help. 

Run on the right surfaces

Avoid uneven surfaces if you have flat feet as it can lead to more problems with overpronation and further decrease your stability while you walk and run.

We have several therapies and orthotics to address flat feet, so if the tips mentioned above aren’t enough, we can help you get back to running. Make an appointment at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle today. 

To get in touch with our team, call the location closest to you, or request an appointment online

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