Flat Feet, also known as fallen arches, is a common condition in which the arch of the foot collapses and causes the entire sole of the foot to come into contact with the ground when standing. This structural change can cause an increase in stress and strain on the feet and may lead to back pain.
One main cause of flat feet is the weakening of the intrinsic muscles in the feet. Though it’s usually attributed to genetics and aging, weight gain, injury, and even standing or walking for long periods of time can also cause flat feet.
With the weakening of these muscles, the arches of the feet begin to collapse and flatten out, resulting in flat feet. Due to having little to no arch, flat feet can affect a person’s body posture and comfort. The lack of arch support can make the feet feel fatigued and cause pain in the heels and soles of the feet. The most common symptom, however, is pain in the knees, hips, and back caused by poor posture. Poor posture due to flat feet can cause the hips to be misaligned, leading to more serious effects such as scoliosis.
Flat feet can also have an impact on back pain specifically. Without proper arch support, the spine is placed in an abnormal position that can lead to misalignment of the spine’s vertebrae and muscles, resulting in chronic back pain. This chronic pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the intensity of the person’s flat feet. Fortunately, there are treatments available for those who experience back pain due to flat feet. These include orthotics, physical therapy, shoe inserts, stretching, and icing. Orthotic devices, such as custom-made insoles, are designed to provide extra arch support and cushioning, which helps to correct posture and lessen pain. Other treatments such as physical therapy and stretching exercises work to strengthen the feet and reduce tension in the feet and legs.
Finally, there are a few preventative measures people can take to avoid flat feet-related back pain. Shoes with proper support are important, as well as wearing arch supports while walking, running, or standing for prolonged periods of time.
Additionally, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight as excess weight can cause flat feet as well as put pressure on the back. Regular exercise, such as running and walking, is also beneficial as it strengthens the feet and helps to keep the feet in the right position.