Podiatrist Toronto, ON Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M.
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Five Non-Surgical Remedies for Flat Foot Pain

Five Non-Surgical Remedies for Flat Foot Pain

Around a quarter of the population in the United States has flat foot. The condition occurs when the foot's arches "collapse," causing the entire sole to rest on the ground, either while seated or standing. When an individual has a flat foot, the normal shock-absorption capabilities of the foot arches are reduced, which translates the typical impact of walking or running to the long bones of the lower body and onwards to the hips and back. When this happens, pain may ensue, which can be alleviated using non-surgical flat foot pain remedies.

#1. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can help reduce flat foot pain by flexing, extending, and massaging the feet. Some of the techniques that therapists use include massaging the foot arches to loosen them, stretching the foot to increase the range of motion, and manipulating the arches of the feet to enhance mobility. Physiotherapy offers a guided means of using exercise and stretching methods to reduce flat foot pain.

#2. Stretching Exercises

If you choose not to work with a physiotherapist, simple stretching exercises can help enhance and tone the foot arches. Heel cord stretching and golf ball roll stretching are two popular stretching exercises can give good results. Follow the instructions your foot doctor gives you on how to perform these exercises and repeat them once a day. When stretching, be careful not to overstretch as this may lead to injury and additional pain.

#3. Orthotics

Orthotics are specially made devices used to treat flat foot pain and include shoe inserts, arch supports, orthopedic shoes, and arch support socks. Orthotics are best used in addition to stretching exercises and physiotherapy as they help retain any foot arch gains these other techniques provide.

#4. Supportive Shoes

Wearing supportive shoes is another way to treat flat foot pain without surgery and is also the most accessible. When buying shoes, look for those that offer enhanced arch support, as these have a raised arch that can provide a much-needed arch lift. Arch support shoes can be found across most shoe categories, including sandals, sports shoes, office shoes, and specialized shoes like hiking boots. Wearing supportive shoes can offer immediate relief from flat foot pain, although this relief may not be permanent.

#5. Weight Loss

Sometimes, arch collapse can be linked to weight gain. In such cases, flat foot pain can be treated by addressing weight gain. If the individual had no flat foot pain before the weight gain, it is possible that losing weight could help reduce the pain. However, it is crucial to speak to a podiatrist to establish this link and discuss whether weight gain is a causative factor.

In Summary

Flat foot pain can make it challenging to engage in an active lifestyle. If you have flat foot pain, some of the remedies above may help reduce the pain and, in some cases, restore the arches of the feet. If these techniques do not work, speak to a foot specialist about other treatments like medication and surgery and whether they may be a more effective option.

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