What happens when your foot doesn’t have a normal arch when standing?

Plainly put you have “flat feet,” or more technically, “pes planus.”

This condition can be painful, both to the foot itself, in addition to the surrounding muscles such as the calves. While most people don’t suffer directly from heal pain, flat feet is often the root cause of injuries in the lower body and chronic sprains as well as hip, knee and ankle pain. As such, most people who think they have flat fleet receive an orthopedic assessment to assess both pain and any recurring injury.

How do I know if I have flat feet?

Looking at your footprint can be a great place to start. Take advantage of sunny San Diego and on your next trip to the beach, step in the sand and take a look at your footprint.  If the majority of your imprint is present, you likely have pes planus.

Additional testing by your doctor can be done to determine if bowing of the ankle occurs and such people require planters facitis support. They can also check to see if there’s a biomechanical imbalance that’s making you susceptible to repetitive ankle sprains, nagging lateral knee or persistent hip pain.

What causes flat feet?

Pes planus is also commonly referred to as fallen arches or over-pronation of the foot. In our first two years of development, pes planus is normal and also becomes more common as we approach our senior years. Quite simply, our arches start to fall due to a long life of standing activities. For active adults, however, flat feet are often caused by a muscle imbalance of the peroneus longus muscle and tibialis anterior — the stirrup muscles – that wrap around the heel of the foot.

Pes planus is also common in San Diego since we often wear flip-flops and unsupportive sandals. Another risk factor is running, due to the extensive pressure it places on the tendons of the foot.

What should I do if I think I have pes planus?

Most commonly a chiropractor, podiatrist or physical therapist will have done an evaluation and prescribed orthopedic inserts. However, acupuncture is a great alternative course of therapy, as it helps correct the imbalance, which resolves the pain and discomfort as well as eliminating the need for costly orthopedic inserts. Most often a treatment protocol of acupuncture, massage, cupping and therapeutic exercises over several weeks will correct the imbalance and have you kicking your orthotics in no time!

For more information about how Acupuncture by Devon can help you with pes planus, contact us for a consultation.