All normal feet have slight arches and are not flat. A shock absorbing function is served by the arch, more so for the knees and the back and for the entire human body in general. The occurrence of flat feet in individuals will have a detrimental effect of the skeletal system of a person. Foot imprints are used to determine the absence or presence of flat feet in people. On the imprint the major points of the feet such as the ball and heel of the foot and all the toes, should be clearly outlined, with the principal point being an arch at the very edge of the outline, formed by the outer instep of the foot, the image of the inner instep must not be visible in the imprint. Flat footedness is characterized by certain physical signs which include, fatigue in the feet and legs after a little exertion, and a burning sensation in the sole of the feet. Flat feet can also have a detrimental effect on the muscles in the thighs and the lower back. A poor venous system or nerve inflammation common in diabetics is believed to be the cause of aches in the foot and the legs. Another long term affect of the fat feet is the appearance of arthritis in the joints of the feet.
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The deficiency of essential minerals like calcium and silica and vitamins like vitamin D is often a sign of flat feet in children. The disappearance of the arches in the feet of adults is due to a combination of causes and physical habits. A lot of stress and strain is put on the muscles of the foot and they are detrimentally affected by standing for long periods of time, alternately activities like walking permits the entire range of muscles in the feet to be utilized. Extreme strain on the feet can be caused or brought about by the repeated wearing of uncomfortable and ill fitting shoes with too thin a sole, or shoes that have high heels or even soles that are too flat, and those without proper insoles, especially is situations where these shoes are used for standing in a single position for long periods of time and if these shoes are used for long walks.
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The feet are also overburdened by the act of carrying excess weight. The problem may be further aggravated, when there is a failure of the part of the person to adequately rest the feet and give them a good workout by actions such as walking barefoot at home or on the grass. A moderate amount of barefoot walking on the sand is very healthy since all the muscles in the feet are utilized to this end, this activity should however be limited as a strain on flat feet are more easily sustained when compared to healthy feet.
The use and abuse of the internal anatomy of the feet is responsible for flat feet, muscles and ligaments in the foot become sluggish from over use. The consumption of all the essential minerals like calcium, silica and the vitamin D, can be increased in children through an enhanced dietary regimen. Adult dosages reduced by about half can be used by children.
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The soft leather shoes or sandals that are worn must be comfortable and loose. High heel and shoes with extremely high bases should be avoided as they increase the chances of wear and tear and injuries. The muscles of the feet can be given regular exercises by walking barefoot on a sandy beach or on round pebbles from time to time. The fallen arches of the feet can also be supported through the use of foam or plastic insoles. To relieve the pain and to soothe and relax the feet, recourse can be taken from time to time, by having warm, alternating foot baths and hot Epsom salt baths with massages using a balsamic foot cream. Under the supervision and care of a physiotherapist or a podiatrist, start on a gradual pace of regular and routine foot exercises a few weeks or even months after resting and not stressing the feet with badly fitting shoes and unnecessary strains.
Provided you do not experience any type of pain, there is no need for any treatment for flat feet. However, if you have flat feet and they are painful, your physician may possibly suggest you to do a number of things. Some of them are discussed in brief below.
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Wear proper shoes: If you have flat feet you should wear shoes that are structurally supportive instead of wearing sandals and shoes providing minimum support. Your feet will be able to endure structurally supportive shoes better.
Arch supports (using orthotic devices): You may get over-the-counter orthotic devices or arc supports that will help in easing pain due to flat feet. Alternately, your physician may possibly also ask you to use personalized arch supports that are molded according to your feet's contours. Remember, using arch supports does not help in curing flat feet, but they definitely diminish the symptoms associated with this abnormal condition.
Stretching exercises: It has been found that a number of people having flat feet also have an abridged Achilles tendon. Exercises undertaken to elongate the Achilles tendon may prove to be helpful in alleviating the symptoms.
It may be noted that no surgery is performed just with the objective of rectifying flat feet. However, it is possible that surgery will be performed to deal with problems related to flat feet, including a rupture or tear of a tendon.
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In case your flat feet are the cause of minor pain, there are a number of things you may like to try. First and foremost, keep away from any activity that makes your condition worse. You are advised to take part in activities where the impact on your feet is less, for instance, walking, swimming or biking - instead of running or jumping. You may also consider using the arch supports and pain killers that are available over-the-counter. In addition, you need to try and shed those extra pounds, as losing weight will help in lessening the pressure on the feet.
The best way to remove the fallen arches is to massage your feet regularly. Massage is a natural treatment that will facilitate in alleviating the strain/ pressure on the muscles. When you use foot arches, they work in the form of a shock absorber and there is the reason for the need to regain the normal structure of your feet. Several advanced treatment methods, such as the trigger point therapy aid in treating flat feet. You may also use insoles, because soles have a vital function in treating the reduced or fallen arches. Insoles are sold in consistent with the size of the foot and often they can also be custom-made. Soles are helpful in curing any tearing of ligament and alleviating problems related to tendons. Besides, using insoles also helps to ease the pain caused by flat feet.
Soles have a major function in curing fallen arches. Physicians often recommend using custom-made orthotic devices (arch supports), which are quite helpful in providing relief from problems related to foot. In fact, these orthotic devices provide maximum support to our legs. Usually, physicians recommend the use of orthotics for people having flat feet. In addition, several shoe manufacturers also offer shoes that are appropriate for those having flat feet and they need to be worn regularly.
Using several types of acupressure massagers for foot, such as massaging mats, rolling foot walkers, and others helps to comfort the feet and also enhance blood circulation to these areas, in addition to providing relief from the symptoms of flat feel slowly. They also enhance the suppleness of feet, improve the alignment of the body and tone up the feet. Acupressure, which is a painless and comforting therapy, is among the most useful remedies for flat foot, which helps to recover from the problem easily.
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