Feet are often taken for granted, despite their critical role in the human body: they support our weight and keep us on the move, so that we can go about our busy daily lives. However, the anatomy of the foot is intricately complex, and the result of any structural complications can be very painful. This is the case with fallen arches.
What Are Fallen Arches?
The arches of the foot play an integral part in weight-bearing, absorbing pressure, and aiding in movement and stability. If the tendons and muscles in the foot weaken, the arches can collapse.
The weakening of the tendons that causes fallen arches can occur due to factors such as aging, genetics, posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, or injuries to the feet. Other contributing factors include obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and involvement in high-impact sports.
Fallen arches are an adult flatfoot condition, where the soles of the feet almost touch the ground completely while standing. Another visible indication of fallen arches is that the feet become turned outward. This condition is often painful and uncomfortable. If your arches have fallen, you may also experience symptoms such as:
- Ankle pain
- Heel pain
- Pain in your hips or knees
- Swelling around the ankle
- Pain or fatigue when walking or standing up
Thankfully, there are many different methods to treating fallen arches and relieving the pain that they cause. In some cases, conservative treatment options are the right fit; in more severe situations, surgery may be needed. It really comes down to consulting with a podiatrist to best ensure that your individual needs are met, and that your flatfoot condition is diagnosed and treated properly.
For less severe cases, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) may be used to ease the discomfort and reduce the inflammation. Even the simplest changes such as wearing orthotics or more supportive shoes have been known to provide pain relief.
Stretching exercises which strengthen the muscles are another approach to fallen arches treatment. Your foot doctor or physical therapist may recommend exercises that include actions such as lifting small objects with your toes in order to contract the arch.
Boots, braces, and casts are other common approaches to treatment. Inflammatory medications are also prescribed to provide pain relief.
Finding a Podiatrist Who Cares
Unfortunately, fallen arches are not taken as seriously as they should be. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, our expert podiatrists view surgery as a last resort and support instilling patient education, preventive methods, and proper foot health as the primary course of action. The care we offer is rooted in extensive podiatric knowledge, as well as our dedicated and sincere concern for our patients.
Fallen arches may have gotten your arches down, but we will help you take a step in the right direction to achieving happier, healthier feet. Contact us today for an appointment at our Long Beach office.