Why Flat Feet Are Such a Threat (And What to Do About Them)

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Why Flat Feet Are Such a Threat (And What to Do About Them)

If you find that the soles of your feet touch the ground and walking has grown increasingly uncomfortable, you may be suffering from flat feet. Although this might seem like a minor concern, flat feet can actually have more of an impact on your overall foot health than you know. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. About 8% of adults in the United States have this condition in common. 

Luckily, board-certified podiatrist Scott Shields, DPM and our dedicated team at Total Foot and Ankle in Enid, Oklahoma specialize in treating chronic pain and disrupted alignment issues caused by flat feet. We use the most advanced technology to treat this common condition and improve your quality of life. 

So, if you believe you’re suffering from this condition, keep reading to explore why flat feet are such a threat and what you can do about them. 

Understanding the threat of flat feet 

Before delving into what makes flat feet a concern, it’s important you understand what they are. 

Flat feet occur when the arches on the inside of your feet are, as the name suggests, flattened. This causes your sole to touch the ground, making daily activities uncomfortable. 

While you might naturally have flat feet, there’s also a chance you might have developed this condition over time due to various factors. If this sounds like you, you should be aware of the following threats flat feet can pose: 

Pain and discomfort

This will probably be your very first clue that flat feet are negatively impacting your life. Not only do flat feet cause pain and discomfort in your feet, but they can also lead to pain in your ankles, knees, and even lower back. The lack of arch support affects various parts of your body. 

Increased risk of injuries 

People with flat feet often experience a higher risk of injury including shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and stress fractures. Once again, the lack of arch support can be a real nuisance by impacting your body’s shock absorption capabilities during activities. 

Impact on daily activities 

Nothing is worse than feeling limited and like you can’t perform daily activities that bring you joy. From walking and running to dancing and everything in between, flat feet can limit your mobility and make physical activity difficult. 

Taking action against flat feet

It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about this condition, but there are various solutions you should try before giving up. Here are just a few of the ways you can provide relief for yourself: 

Choose the right footwear 

It’s especially important that you choose shoes with arch support that can provide you with stability and reduce strain on your feet. Additionally, custom orthotic inserts can also enhance arch support and alleviate your discomfort. 

Try strength and stretching exercises 

Incorporate activities like yoga or Pilates that focus on improving your overall foot flexibility and strength. Toe curls, arch lifts, and calf stretches also help. 

Maintain a healthy weight

While it’s always important to be mindful of your nutrition, it’s especially important in the case of flat feet because excess body weight can exacerbate the impact of flat feet on your joints. By monitoring this, you can reduce stress on your feet and lower other risks. 

Seek professional help 

When in doubt, seeking the help of a professional podiatrist like Dr. Shields is the way to go. He can assess the severity of your flat feet and provide personalized recommendations. By addressing flat feet early we can often avoid major surgery that would be required to realign your feet. As the years go by with flat feet the joints in your feet can become stiff and no longer move as they are supposed to. At that point, the desirable options are no longer available.  When we address flat feet early there are many options that are not scary or are minimally invasive. 

The importance of overall foot health 

Beyond the recommendations we’ve provided, the most important piece of advice is to take proactive steps to address your foot concerns. Follow our guide to enjoy a fuller and more active life:

Listen to your feet 

We can’t emphasize this enough. Pay attention to any and all signs of discomfort or pain in your feet. Never ignore these signals, as they can be warning signs pointing to more severe issues down the road. 

Schedule regular check-ups 

Don’t hesitate to use Dr. Shields as a go-to resource. He can monitor your foot health and address any emergency concerns promptly. 

Celebrate your progress 

Even the smallest victories lead to some big long-term benefits. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the progress you make in improving your foot health; whether it’s by implementing new lifestyle changes or scheduling your first appointment with Dr. Shields, you deserve a pat on the back! 

In the end, addressing your concerns about flat feet doesn’t have to be daunting. You can make this process easier for yourself by understanding the threats and taking the proper steps to alleviate discomfort. And, if you’re ever in a real bind, our team is here to provide relief. 

If you’re ready to learn more about flat feet and overcome your challenges, contact us at Total Foot and Ankle to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shields today!