Here’s a question I get pretty often: why feet? And I answer, because I love feet. And usually I’ll add a comment about how it’s a good thing I’m not a gastroenterologist or a urologist or something along those lines.
Well, in a way, perhaps slightly inaccurately. You see, my dear NYC podiatry patients, today we are going to speak about your feet, and specifically your flat feet. And we all know that in case of a draft, this condition may count as an exemption, even if it technically shouldn’t since the fallacy of flat feet inhibiting military service has been disproven in 1945, and there is not actually a draft now. However, if you are seeking knowledge on the scourge of flat feet, this blog may just make life slightly better.
We have spoken before, in the confines of this most sacred and solemn blog, of the basics of the arch and flat feet, but for review, here it is again. The arch of the foot is formed by the bone and soft structure of the foot, and is basically fixed from birth. The arch may be high or low based on the alignment of the foot bones, and to a certain extent, the soft tissue. A foot may pronate, which is basically the act of flattening the arch, or supinate, which is the act of raising the arch. Those who tend to flatten out the feet more than would be expected are referred to as overpronators, and those with arches that essentially remain high and don’t contact the ground are called underpronators. Despite what exists in the blogosphere and the pages of spurious health magazines, those who overpronate are not necessarily at risk for bunions, hammertoes, knee issues, hip arthritis, back pain and gallstones. I kid about the last condition- there is a clear link between flat feet and gallstones. Ok, maybe not. Those with flat feet may not necessarily experience pain, while those with high arches tend to have a higher incidence of different foot issues- namely ankle sprains, and pain along the outside of the foot. Like everything else out there, what we are is the product of our DNA, which is our blueprint. Just as our hair color, eyes, height and many disease states are predetermined, so too is our arch structure and the resultant issues that may arise. Flat feet are not a problem- unless they are a problem. And that problem may indeed manifest in the form of arch and heel pain, ankle pain, and yes even back pain.
So what can be done to relieve the pain and suffering of flat feet? Well there is a lot. Of course orthotics are a great starting point, which is where we will pick it up in the next thrilling and fun filled blog, so stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode.
See you in the office.
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