A Guide to Fallen Arches
Fallen Arches, Flat Feet, and Foot Pain: How to Resolve them Using Arch Angels
What are Fallen Arches?
‘Fallen arches’ is a catch-all term for many conditions that is used when the concave curved shape on the sole of the middle of the foot starts to become lower. The foot has this domed or vault like profile, known commonly as the ‘arch’, so that changes in its profile (lowering and raising) during walking and running can make the foot act as a shock absorber.
On loading the whole foot to the floor, the arch flattens down to a variable degree, allowing the foot to squash down and spread out. This improves the foot’s contact with the ground (or shoe) while providing a mildly springy shock-absorbing property to the whole foot. Just like stretching or squashing a spring, the more the foot pushes down the stiffer it should become. As the heel lifts off the ground towards the end of each step, the arch starts to ‘spring’ back into shape aiding acceleration forward off the foot.
If the foot arch starts to squash down more than it used to and it becomes less adaptable, and less springy, it can be considered to have fallen. Usually, the shape of the foot when off the ground is unaffected, but the feet can become more easily tired or painful. A foot can start to look flatter when it is off the ground, in which case something more serious might be going wrong.
Weak foot muscles are the most common cause of fallen arches and in time, the foot might start to hurt because it has lost its natural shock absorber and springy power. Specially designed and contoured insoles, such as the ArchAngel and exercises are the best solution. Using shock absorbing insoles or memory-foam insoles only deal with the shock-absorbing problem, not the loss of foot’s spring-like power.
Feet that are getting flatter rapidly and have become painful around the inside of the ankle on walking, need urgent treatment. See a foot health specialist (Podiatrist) as soon as you can to rule out a serious problem. If you are diabetic and your foot feels hot and starts changing shape while your foot feels hot, seek urgent attention from your diabetic medical team, including the accident and emergency department if you are unable to see your specialist diabetic team rapidly.
ArchAngel® fallen arches insoles have been designed and contoured to provide the best comfort and arch support for feet with fallen arches.
Wearing insoles for the first time?
When you receive your insoles, it might help to read this article about how to fit insoles into shoes. Insoles can feel a little strange to wear at first, but don’t panic. if this is your first pair or insoles read this helpful article about what to do. Your shoe selection is really important and can affect the fit and comfort of your insoles. Therefore, check out this article on the importance of choosing the right shoe.
What are Flat Feet?
Feet come in all shapes and sizes. In childhood, feet tend to be flatter, especially after they start to walk. Foot arches only start to form properly from around ages five to seven, although the height an arch obtains during growth varies considerably reflecting foot strength, joint mobility, lifestyle while growing, and other family members’ foot shapes. Children with non-painful flat feet should be kept active and walk barefoot as much as they can, especially outside on uneven terrain where it is safe to do so.
Adults also demonstrate a wide range of foot profiles, and although different foot arch profiles do cause the foot to function a little differently, they can all work perfectly well. It is feet that are not working well that need intervention, and all foot shape types can develop pain and problems.
What Causes Foot Pain?
Feet can develop pain for many different reasons. The most common causes relate to weak foot and calf muscles either directly or indirectly. This is because these muscles control the foot’s function and power, protecting the foot from damage as we walk. However, footwear choice can make life hard for feet by overly crushing them, preventing muscles and joints working properly.
Foot pains include metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and arch strains. Often, wearing shoes with a wide toe box, a flattish heel, and with good fixation (a lace is best) will improve symptoms. Trainer and comfort type shoes are ideal. However, strengthening the feet using simple exercises and using a specially designed arch contouring insole, such as the ArchAngel, will start to resolve most foot pains within a short time.
If your problem doesn’t start to settle down with exercises and/or using the ArchAngel with good footwear selection, consult a foot health specialist (Podiatrist) as soon as you can.
If you are diabetic and you develop a foot pain, a foot wound, or your foot shape starts to change, consult a Podiatrist urgently.