Be watchful of your arched feet turning flat

Be watchful of your arched feet turning flat

Sole Concerns

Those born with flat feet often suffer for a lifetime with the inability to walk long distances, constant knee, hip and back pain and also having to spend thousands on ‘special shoes for the flat-footed’ every year. 

That is also the reason why those born with  naturally curvy arched feet thank their stars. 
But do you know that even grown-ups, who earlier had perfectly convex feet, can develop flat feet over time?

Most of us have the impression that flat feet is a hereditary problem and you need to worry about it only if your parents and siblings have the condition; but doctors are realising over the years that even normal feet can ‘lose’ their arch if the muscles therein are not exercised regularly. 

The reasons can vary from lack of physical activity in children to obesity and bad walking/standing postures to even osteoporosis.

“Firstly, one must know, that babies are not born with an arch,” informs director and fitness expert at GFFI (Growth for Fitness Instructors) Academy, Neeraj Mehta, “The arch develops between four to eight years if your genes are conducive. 
Additionally, walking barefoot on different surfaces and physical activity develops the feet muscles further resulting in the perfect arch. 

However, keeping the child’s feet covered with shoes all the time and also not encouraging outdoor games, is giving rise to arches becoming flat over time.” 

Slippers and sandals promote growth of feet muscles better, he adds, but not covered shoes.
Obesity, whether in children or adults, is also a major reason for ‘acquired-flat feet.’ Dr Harshavardhan Hegde, director, Nova Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital, explains, “It is all to do with the right posture and biomechanics. 

When you put on excessive weight, all the load is passed on to your waist, knee and feet joints eventually. 

You start standing and walking in whichever posture your body feels comfortable in, whether that be the correct posture or not. 

This leads to flat-footedness over time.” 

Children often assume bad postures in the absence of watchfulness on the part of parents. This should also be avoided, he underlines. 

The good doctors point out that women become victims of acquired flat-footedness more often than men because of calcium deficiency and weak bones. 

“Osteoporosis is a major cause of flat-footedness as your feet bones, the arch especially, become weak and bend easily. Women over the age of 30 should be careful about how their feet are spreading out,” says Dr Govind Singh Bisht, senior consultant, Podiatry, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.

“Acquired flat-footedness can be avoided easily, but once you have it, it’s much more difficultto correct,” he adds. 

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