Flat Feet or Pes Planus, also known as Fallen Arches or Overpronated Feet, is a condition where the arch of the foot collapses, causing the sole of the foot to come into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. This can cause pain and discomfort, as well as increase the risk of developing other foot problems.

Orthotics are devices that are inserted into shoes to provide support and correction for various foot problems, including flat feet. They can help redistribute pressure on the feet and provide arch support to improve the functioning of the foot. Custom orthotics are molded specifically to an individual’s feet, while over-the-counter orthotics are pre-made and can be adjusted to fit a wide range of foot sizes and shapes.

Orthotics can be effective in treating flat feet by helping to support the arch, reduce pressure on the foot, and improve the alignment of the lower extremities. They can also help alleviate symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and instability.

At Helios Physiotherapy and Rehab you can consult a therapist to determine whether orthotics is appropriate for your individual needs, and to ensure proper fit and usage.

Physical therapy can be an effective treatment along with Custom Foot Orthotics for people with flat feet. A physical therapist can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses the specific needs of your feet and the problems you are experiencing.

WHAT ARE CAUSES OF FLAT FEET?

There are several potential causes of flat feet, including:

  1. Genetics: Flat feet can be inherited, and some people are simply born with a natural tendency toward flat feet.
  2. Overuse: Overuse of the feet, such as in certain athletic activities, can lead to flat feet over time.
  3. Age: As people age, the ligaments and muscles in the feet can weaken, leading to a collapse of the arch.
  4. Obesity: Excessive weight can put added strain on the feet and increase the risk of developing flat feet.
  5. Pregnancy: Pregnancy can lead to flat feet due to hormonal changes and increased weight on the feet.
  6. Neuromuscular conditions: Certain neurological and muscle conditions, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, can lead to flat feet.
  7. Arthritis: Arthritis can cause inflammation and stiffness in the feet, leading to a collapse of the arch.
  8. Injury: Trauma to the foot, such as a broken bone or ligament tear, can lead to flat feet.

Some of the physical therapy techniques that may be used to treat flat feet include:

  1. Manual therapy: Techniques such as Soft Tissue Release, Joint mobilization, and Manipulation can be used to reduce pain and improve mobility in the feet.
  2. Shockwave Therapy: Shockwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment option for various musculoskeletal conditions, including flat feet. The therapy involves the use of high-energy waves to stimulate healing and relieve pain in the affected area. The Shock Waves are delivered through a device that is placed in direct contact with the skin over the affected area.

For Flat Feet, Shockwave therapy can help to reduce pain and improve function by promoting the growth of new blood vessels in the affected area, which can lead to improved healing and tissue regeneration. Additionally, shockwave therapy can help to reduce inflammation, which can also contribute to pain reduction.

  • Balance and Proprioception exercises: Exercises that improve balance and proprioception (the ability to sense the position and movement of your body) can help improve stability and reduce the risk of falling.
  • Taping and Bracing: Physical therapists may use taping or bracing to provide additional support and stability to the feet.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of Qi (life force energy) and balance the body’s energy system. It is commonly used to treat a variety of physical and emotional conditions, including pain, stress, and digestive issues.

It can help to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the condition. The acupuncture points selected for treatment are chosen based on traditional TCM principles, which hold that flat feet are related to imbalances in the energy channels that run through the body. By inserting needles into specific points along these energy channels, the therapist aims to balance the energy and alleviate pain.

  • Correction exercises: Specific Exercises to correct the imbalance of the calf, ankle, and foot muscles can help improve flexibility and reduce pain in the feet.
  • Specific Strengthening Exercises: Specific Strengthening exercises for the feet, legs, and hips can help improve the stability and alignment of the lower extremities.

Physical therapy and Custom Foot Orthotics Insoles can help improve the function and comfort of your feet, reduce pain, and prevent future problems. At Helios Physiotherapy and Rehab the therapist will work with you to develop a LONG TERM MANAGEMENT PLAN that includes combination of Therapies and Custom Foot Orthotics to maintain the improvements you make during therapy.