About 20 to 30 percent of the world’s population is flatfooted or has flat feet. These people can still enjoy running, but they need to know a couple of facts. An activity that requires considerable movement, running exerts leg muscles. Having a flat foot does affect running, and choosing the best shoes is of utmost importance. To understand how flat feet affect runners, you need to know what exactly means by being flat-footed.
A flat foot, what is it?
A flat foot is a condition in which a person’s medial longitudinal arch collapses or flattens. The outcome of having a flat foot is having feet that look flat when viewed from either side. When you compare a flat foot with a regular foot, you will notice the former has no existing arch. When the arch flattens, problems surface, including ankle, bunions, heel, and back pains. These aches automatically affect you when running.
Causes flat feet?
In most cases, flat feet are inherited, and in minor cases, caused by a tarsal coalition.A tarsal coalition is an abnormality that is known to develop in the womb when bones fuse. You will notice a flat foot in infants and toddlers as the foot’s arch is not yet fully developed. Flat feet in adults occur later in life. Women above 40 years old develop flat feet as a result of tendon stretching over time. Standing and walking with high heels results in muscle stretching.
How do flat feet affect daily routine?
Having flat feet or low arches is normal for some people. Flat feet do not cause huge problems, but they do affect your daily routine. Running and walking will put a strain on your muscles and ligaments, resulting in pain in your legs. Your shoes will wear out more quickly if you are flat-footed. Flat feet also affect Achilles tendon and ankle joints. Your posture will also change, and you will, at times, feel pain when running or walking.
How to check if you have flat feet?
You can quickly identify flat feet by the way you stand or walk. If the arches on the inside of your feet flatten, you have flat feet. Or when the entire soles of your feet touch the floor once you stand up, you have flat feet. You can also step in a dry flat area and inspect your feet for the arch. An entire imprint of your feet on the ground suggests you have flat feet. If you have noticeable space on the inner part of your arch, you don’t have flat feet.
Kinds of flat feet
There are two types of flat feet, flexible and rigid flat feet. Flexible flat feet is when a person’s arch is seen when the foot is raised off the ground. The arch will flatten when weight is added on foot. A rigid flat foot is when the foot flattens as a result of bone structure. Most people with flat feet have flexible flat feet. It is important to note that a rigid flat foot is not as a result of the arch tendons.
What’s the reason people with flat feet get pain from running?
Issues that arise as a result of flat feet are not due to the feet themselves, ironic. Over-pronation is the most significant cause of pain. Regular rolling in of the foot is what is referred to as pronation. It happens at the end of every step we take as the feet absorb impact from the ground. Over-pronation is the case where the feet roll inwards too much. Ankle joints become extended, causing leg bones to rotate inwards.
What are the issues you will have to deal with when running with flat feet?
The pain will not only occur in your feet but your knees as well. Hips lower back and legs will also feel the pain. Runners may see swelling of feet after running for long. Tendinitis is another issue flat feet people will have to face. Constant wear and tear will lead to the rupture of ligaments and tendon injuries. If you have flat feet, you are more prone to sports injuries than others. Acute pain can also occur in your shins while running with flat feet.
What you should know about running with flat feet
Having flat feet should not discourage anyone from running. Make sure to maintain a healthy weight and stay fit. It would help if you took a balanced diet coupled with healthy nutrition. Make sure to follow a good training routine. Proper training includes a consistent exercise routine without practicing an intermittent approach. Make sure you stretch before you start your running routine. Rest is also an important factor when running with flat feet. Also, rest well before your next training routine.
What solutions are available for flat feet runners?
Make sure to learn the correct technique of running. You can get the help you need from a physical therapist. Make sure to know which part of your feet lands first while running and how best to keep steady steps. Maintaining an erect posture while running will prevent complications. Measure your running arch and strides as you learn how to realign your feet while running. You should also wear fitting running shoes during your training routine.
Have insoles inside your running shoes. Insoles provide additional support as well as proper foot alignment. Your feet will get the stability they deserve from insoles to help your running routine go smoothly. Get help from a qualified physician as you choose which insoles best suit you. You can get orthotics custom-made from a precise impression of your feet. Having an ankle brace will also help if there is inflammation of tendons.
Exercise routines for flat feet runners
Flat-footed runners should stretch before and after every run. You can also place a golf ball roll under your foot while seated. Make sure to roll the ball backward and forward under the arch of the foot. This type of exercise helps to stretch the plantar fascia ligament. Do not ignore the pain and ensure you get help from a professional. You may need anti-inflammatory painkillers, depending on your condition. Running through pain worsens the situation and increases the risk of serious injury.
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