Orthotics are often favored by patients as an effective, non-invasive treatment. The effects of the orthotics may be felt within weeks of wearing them, but it is important to remember that this is a long-term treatment and orthotics may need to be worn permanently. See your doctor to find out if orthotics are right for you. Flat feet, or fallen arches , is a condition whereby the arch of the foot collapses, and as a result the most or the entire arch of the foot comes into contact with the ground, rather than having an original arch in between the heel and ball of the foot.
Over-the-counter insoles and arch supports are available to help ease the pain from fallen arches, but these may not conform to the needs of an individual. Alternatively, foot orthotics are arch supports that are custom-made for each individual. These are molded to the shape of your foot and can be moved from one shoe to another just like over-the-counter arch supports. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, you might want to avoid weight-bearing activities while wearing an ankle brace or a walking boot. Talk to your doctor about the treatments that are right for you.
Due to over-pronation the foot continues to roll inwards when it really should be pushing off and outwards, because of which the lower leg also follows the internal rotation instead of the external rotation, thereby placing a lot of strain on the leg muscles (especially the calf muscles) causing leg ache and shin splits. The knee-cap, a hinge joint designed to flex and extend like a door and not rotate, gets displaced due to the twisting of the leg. Similarly, when the legs rotate inwards, the pelvis is forced to tilt forward, thereby constantly straining the lower back muscles.
If your condition is serious and your ankle area has been swollen for some time you may want to see an orthopedic surgeon. You may be having problems with one of your tendons also. However, surgery may not be needed but you can expect your physician to recommend wearing a custom-designed orthotic or arch support. Orthotics are molded to the shape of your feet and you slip them into your shoes like the other ready-made shoe inserts. Knee/Hip/Back Pain – When the arch collapses in the foot, it triggers a series of compensations up the joint chain, leading to increased stress on the knee, pelvis and low back.
However, if the abnormal forces put upon the muscles at the ankle and at the arch are too great, then these muscles will become strained and exhausted. They will then start to hurt in their attempt to prevent the arch from collapsing and to maintain the balance of the feet. This unsuccessful battle of trying to prevent the arch from collapsing by the muscles of the ankle is also a common cause of tired feet and weak ankles. Chronic ankle sprains can also be caused by this acquired instability at the ankle joint due to its battle of trying to prevent the arch from collapsing.