Gravity, Weight and Hard Floors Beat the Arches Down Over Time
Having “flat feet” is a common complaint of people of all ages. The assumption is that feet have a static posture that never changes and that you either have flat feet or you don’t, implying that someone has always had or will always have the same flat feet. The truth is that our feet and our entire bodies are always changing. If we eat too much, we may gain unwanted pounds. If we don’t exercise, our bodies may become weak. Time changes things, along with gravity, body weight, and the hard surfaces of modern living beating down our arches.
How the Bones in the Feet Work
The 26 bones that give our feet structure depend on semi-elastic bands of connective tissue called ligaments to keep them nested together and supported. Ligaments are very good at resisting short-term, forceful stretches. However, they are susceptible to long-term stretches that make them longer and looser (like prolonged standing on hard floors). As the ligaments get looser, they can’t hold the bones together like they used to, so the arches and general structure of the foot slumps. As the foot structure slumps closer to “flat on the floor,” foot function suffers and may become abnormal.
Foot fatigue results in the early stages, then pain and/or deformities may develop as the altered function causes progressive tissue damage. Some people are born with loose ligaments and have flat feet as a child. Many people will have a good arch structure in their youth, but their ligaments become lax as time goes on. Even high arched feet will drop down over time, but it can happen so gradually that it may go unnoticed. Either way, the feet rely on optimal posture and function to stay healthy.
Sole Supports™ custom orthotics were designed to give feet back their missing structure and to prevent future decline. Janell Strupp, PT at Total Health Clinic uses a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan to determine whether you may be a good candidate for Sole Supports ™.
When tender points and stiffness are present, Fascial Counterstrain is an extremely gentle, yet powerful technique to reduce pain. It even helps correct ligament laxity or boney deformity through tender point correction in the fascia, restoring blood flow, nerve conduction, and structural alignment.
As the arch falls, foot function typically deteriorates. Time may not be the body’s ally, but the timely use of manual therapy such as Fascial Counterstrain, paired with custom Sole Supports™ can help you beat time at its own game!