Are you Flat Footed??

(Ayesha Ahmad, Peshawar)

Flat feet also termed as “Fallen Arches”/ “Pes Planus”.

Many newborns crop up blessed in this world, free of any imperfections but regrettably some are in-bred with congenital defects and many able-bodied lose their robust physical conditioning in later life.
Brooking up with fallen arches is one of the defects endorsed.

“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.” (Oprah Winfrey)

Pes planus (flat feet/ fallen arches) is a posture-pertained defect in which the soles are levelled or have collapsed arches i.e it befits the ground surface when in contact with it. It is basically the infirmity of the ligaments and tendons beneath the lower leg to be towed efficiently.
The main arch-supporting tendon is the “posterior tibial tendon”. The medial and longitudinal arch materializes aptly and orderly owing to the tendon.
The depressing of the arch eventuates by virtue of the tendon being impairing. The curvature may have varying degrees because depressing ensues progressively. The shape and physical conditioning too worsens step by step.
It is also illustrated as HYPERPRONATION.

This impairment may be an in-born impairment or acquired one (acquired flat feet) i.e limitation developed in the advanced life. The congenital one usually is a hereditary impairment while no active/passive support when working out with weight bearing agents grounds for the acquired one.

EXPRESSION OF THE DEFORMITY

Enduring fallen arches is not too alarming nevertheless occasionally it may have adverse impacts.
Legs, feet, knee joint and ankle joints are subjected to diverse visceral discomforts incorporating pain, oedema, bunion development, hammer toes, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) and being lethargic. Withal discomfort sensed, disproportionate weight scattering and arthritic feet too pop up in the list of the adverse impacts.

Obese, diabetic and aged bodies are much more prone to evolve flat feet. Pregnant females, victims of Rheumatoid arthritis and others ailing with nerve lesions are liable to develop fallen arches.

DOCTORING THE DEFORMITY

Albeit the deformity is not too exposed to doubt but far from orderly condition, ergo requires treatment. The fallen arches cannot be perfectly reinstated hence its detrimental effects can be mitigated.

Use of suitable insoles, motion control shoes, bringing off the accumulated fats, overseeing high b.p, cutting the mustard of in/outdoor activities like basketball, hockey, soccer, and restraining oneself from load-bearing exercises.

FLAT FEET & PHYSIOTHERAPY

Physiotherapy, in essence attends to the throe and strain matured in the affected body units like backache, ankle distress, knee cricking, aberrant gait pattern etc.

With a view to soothe down the discomfort specific workouts are recommended:

üStair arch raises:
stand on a step/ lowest stair (a few inches higher than the ground). Position only the ball of the foot on the tip of the step and the rest swinging behind. Press the ball and lift-drop heel respectively in asynchronous manner, being supported by the the recumbent one.
Repeat the workout 8-10 times in 3 sets.

üTowel curls:
rest on a comfortable support in sitting posture with a thick towel beneath your soles and scrub the soles firmly against it. Successively press your ball & toes and be on-hold for 3-5 secs and the relax. Repeat it 12-14 times in 2 sets.

üTennis & Golf ball rolls:
adopt a straight spine maintained on a comfortable support in sitting posture and position a tennis or golf ball below one’s foot and twirl it. Work it out for each foot one after another for about 2-4 minutes.

üCalf raises:
go for a neutral spine in standing posture and raise-drop both the heels simultaneously. But elevate heels to a greater level for about 3-5 secs. Repeat it for 10-15 times in 2 pairs.

üHeel cord stretches:
stand in front of a wall with both the hands gripped on it. Position one of the feet behind the other about a step back. Following this, go for bowing the knee of the forward foot and continue it until pain is sensed in the posterior placed foot. Repeat it by swiping the actions of both feet. Repeat it 10-12 times for each limb.

“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking, nor outright purchase.” (Joseph Pilates)

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