"Flat feet" are an absence of arches in the feet or low arches in the feet. Flat feet can be a genetic condition that is present at birth or can develop later in life. Flat feet that develop later in life are commonly called "fallen arches". Fallen arches can be a result of arthritis, poor foot position when walking or injury. Pain from flat feet is caused by improper positioning of the feet. The lack of arches or small arches cause the feet to sit inward. The improper positioning leads to muscle soreness in the feet, ankles, legs and back. In severe cases of flat feet, surgery is an option. More often, home treatment is advised. Pain caused by flat feet can usually be successfully treated at home. Pain that is not relieved at home or pain that is severe should be treated by a doctor.
Insoles are inserts that fit inside the shoes. The shape of the inserts relieves pressure from the arch of the feet and correctly positions the feet to prevent muscle pain in the feet, legs and back. For the best results, have a podiatrist make custom insoles to the shape of your feet. If you choose to purchase pre-made insoles from a store, choose soft, flexible ones. Soft, flexible insoles provide cushion to relieve pressure and allow your feet to flex naturally.
A foot massage increases blood flow to the area and relaxes the muscles in the feet, which relieves pain. The massage should focus on the arch area of the feet, where the pain is greatest. You can massage your feet with your hands or you can try a tennis ball massage. To do a tennis ball massage, sit in a chair and place a tennis ball on the ground. Place the arch of your foot on top of the tennis ball. Press your foot down on the ball using a medium amount of pressure. Roll your foot back and forth over the ball, allowing the ball to massage your arch. Do this massage as often as desired to relieve the pain from flat feet.
Soak your feet in a bath of warm water and Epsom salt. Fill a dish tub or large pot with one cup of Epsom salt and warm water. Soak your feet in the water for 15 to 30 minutes to relieve sore muscles. The high magnesium content of the Epsom salt encourages the muscles to release lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up in the muscles after exercise, or in the case of flat feet, the buildup is caused by hard work the muscles have to do to overcompensate for poor foot alignment. The buildup of lactic acid causes muscle soreness.
Article Written By Rose Kivi
Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.