Is it possible to run with flat feet?

A person is born with flat feet, and only by the age of 4, due to vertical load and mechanical stimulation, the arches of the foot begin to form. But walking on flat surfaces, the constant wearing of shoes and frequent genetic abnormalities in connective tissue density leads to the fact that in some people the correct vaults do not develop. Choose great running shoes for high arches.

A person is born with flat feet, and only by the age of 4, due to vertical load and mechanical stimulation, the arches of the foot begin to form. But walking on flat surfaces, the constant wearing of shoes and frequent genetic abnormalities in connective tissue density leads to the fact that in some people the correct vaults do not develop. Choose great running shoes for high arches.

What are flat feet

In total, two arches are distinguished in the foot – longitudinal and transverse.

These are arcuate elastic structures supported by two systems: active (muscles) and passive (ligaments and tendons). Their main task is to adapt the foot to the surface, to distribute and absorb the shock load that occurs when walking, running, and jumping. A violation of the arches of the foot is such a pathology as a hollow foot – that is, a foot with an excessively high and rigid arch that does not cope with the function of shock absorption.

Impairment of the shock absorption function leads to an incorrect distribution of the impact, which overloads the joints, bones, and ligaments of the foot. Clinically, it can be expressed by pain in the vault, plantar fasciitis or heel spur, hallux valgus “bone”, compression of the nerves of the foot. And also the joints and muscles are overloaded higher along the biomechanical chain (ankles, knees, hip joints).

Moreover, the negative impact is due not only to increased impact but also often accompanying flat feet hyperpronation (excessive blockage of the foot inward when landing on the support).

Since running is a series of jumps, the overloads associated with a violation of the biomechanics of the foot are increased since it is required to absorb the impact of the whole body with acceleration.

We should also pay special attention to high-speed running. In this case, the forefoot is overloaded. Progression or manifestation of symptoms of transverse flat feet (disorders of the transverse arch of the foot) is possible. Most often it manifests itself as an increase in the “bone”, numbness of the 3rd and 4th toes, pain in the lifting area.

How to know if you have flat feet

The transverse flat feet are clearly visible on the widened forefoot, collapsed toes, the deviation of the big toe, and very characteristic calluses.

Longitudinal flat feet can be identified by comparing footprints with templates. You can make a print at home by smearing paint on the pile and stepping on the paper. Also, foot diagnostics is now actively carried out in many orthopedic salons.

But many people running around have flat feet and have no problems with their legs?

Like any biomechanical problem, flat feet are compensated by the body by strengthening the ligaments and muscles. And with a gradual increase in stress, it often does not cause symptoms. Therefore, if flat feet are found in oneself, it is worth starting active actions if flat feet are of a high degree (3-4) and hyperpronation is strongly pronounced. Or if you have the following symptoms:

  • regular foot pain after running;
  • pain in the heel or instep area;
  • numbness of the fingers;
  • enlargement of the supporting joint of the thumb, pain in it;
  • regular pain in the ankle or knee joints after running.

What to do if flat feet are found, and running has already become an integral part of life?

Sportive orthopedic insoles, especially custom-made ones, are very helpful. And mainly from soft materials so as not to injure the foot.

Exercise has some effect. Of course, it is better to start doing them in childhood, but in adults, they also help improve adaptation to running load.

Sneakers with increased shock absorption and, if necessary, with a protective insert against overpronation.

Running on soft surfaces.

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