Flat Feet, Bad Posture And Back Pain Are All Related


That little arch in a person's foot does more than you think. It helps to keep your body in its natural alignment, from head to toe. Here is how that arch benefits people, and why your flat feet may be a source of constant back pain.

The Natural Arch

Your calf muscles connect to the bones in your feet through a large tendon. That tendon and a number of ligaments in your foot form the bones into a cup shape. That shape creates the arch in your foot. The arch makes the foot turn out slightly and provides a natural shock absorber effect when walking. Because of the arch, the position of your foot and ankle keeps your lower legs, knees, upper legs and hips in alignment.

When Your Arch Fails

When the tendon and ligaments can no longer hold the arch, your foot rests flat on the floor. Your foot turns in slightly and your ankle rotates in. This throws the alignment off from your ankles to your hips. The angle of the hips changes and, in order to shift your center of gravity, your lower spine moves, putting stress on your back muscles. This results in ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain. Some people may develop upper back and neck pain as the spine tries to compensate for your flat feet.

Why You Have Flat Feet

A number of factors influence why you have flat feet including:

  • Genetics - A family history of flat feet may have been passed to you.
  • Tendon injuries - An accident or sports injury can reduce the tendon's ability to hold the arch.
  • Overuse - Athletes can stretch the tendon too much without allowing time for it to recover.
  • Overweight - Excess weight puts a strain on the tendon and ligaments until they can no longer hold the arch.
  • Chronic disease - Diabetes and arthritis can weaken the tendon, ligaments, and muscles until they can't support your arch.

Treatment Options

A podiatrist will evaluate the reasons for your flat feet and give you several treatment options. Not all options will be appropriate for all people because of their health or foot anatomy. Your foot doctor will try to recommend non-invasive treatments before suggesting surgical procedures.

  • Physical therapy - The therapist will work with you to strengthen the tendon and muscles in an attempt to restore your arch.
  • Shoe inserts and braces - Your doctor can order various orthotics to hold your foot and ankle in the correct position. These may be temporary until physical therapy is successful, but you may also use them for the rest of your life to maintain proper alignment.

If these non-invasive options are not successful, the following surgical procedure are available:

  • Fusion - An artificial arch is created by fusing bones in the foot together.
  • Tendon placement - The surgeon can move the attachment of the large tendon to another place in your foot to gain more leverage and hold your arch more securely.
  • Bone grafts - Bone tissue can be added to your foot to create a more secure arch.

These surgical procedures will keep you off of your feet for several weeks while they heal. This makes surgery for your feet an option to consider carefully. If orthotics maintain your arch sufficiently to reduce your hip and back pain, they may be a better option that disrupting your life for weeks by undergoing foot surgery.

To learn more, visit a site such as http://www.advancedfootclinic.org.


30 July 2015

Saving Money On Medical Equipment

When I first got married, I didn't think twice before swiping my credit card. Unfortunately, this attitude caused my spouse and I to get into serious financial trouble early on, especially after a medical situation. Soon, we found ourselves struggling to pay the bills, even though we both worked full-time. After a financial intervention from a few of our family members, we learned ways to save money on everything from groceries to medical equipment. Because the cost of healthcare can be staggering, we decided to create a website dedicated to helping you save money on your medical expenses. I hope that as you peruse the articles on our website, you can find a few tips to save some cash.