What are alternatives to fixing flat feet without orthotics?
One of the first questions people ask when they find out they have extremely flat feet or that their child has flat feet is, Can I fix it?
Flat feet is a condition characterized by the absence of an arch on the inside of the foot or a very low arch. Children can get flat feet, but they usually outgrow the condition. Adults who develop flat feet usually have an underlying condition that is affecting their feet.
The symptoms include pain, swelling, or stiffness affecting the arch of the feet, legs, and sometimes the back.
While custom orthotics can help somewhat, there are other ways to deal with these issues as well.
Ways to relieve flat feet without orthotics.
1. Wearing Thick Shoes
If you have extremely flat feet, wearing thick shoes can help with comfort. A thick sole can make flat feet feel more supported and cushioned. Make sure you choose shoes that fit well—too big or too small will lead to discomfort over time. Also, make sure your shoes are not worn down. See a chiropodist if they are damaged, as repair work may be needed to ensure proper foot alignment.
2. Massaging the Soles
While flat feet themselves aren’t painful, they do put your back and legs in an awkward position. When you stand on them, it can strain all of your joints and muscles throughout your body. This tension isn’t just annoying—it also leads to injury over time. There are great massage tools for the feet such as Spiky Balls.
3. Walking Barefoot
Not only can walking barefoot help you strengthen your foot muscles, but it can also provide a stimulating contrast to wearing sneakers every day. So even if you live in a warm place where it’s always comfortable to walk around shoeless, try going without shoes for at least some of your errands or when you’re running an afternoon errand that won’t take long.
A chiropodist may recommend specific exercises to manage the symptoms of flat feet or prevent them from developing.
In a 2020 study researchers found that participants’ gait and foot alignment improved after just 8 weeks of foot exercises.
Chiropody services can benefit people of all ages and backgrounds including children, seniors, athletes and people with diabetes, arthritis and symptoms of overuse. In fact, anyone can benefit from chiropody care!