Ways to get support for flat feet

November 16, 2010 3:07:13 PM PST
Our feet may flatten as we age, the arch falling after years of the pressure of walking. Not all flat feet are painful, but some are. The result can be pain up the leg and after years, even arthritis. The treatment is very simple. Build a support in your shoe to re-create your arch.

When you are walking and people watching, some interesting physics happen about five feet or so below. With each step, you put the force of up to five times your body weight on each foot. After 81 years of that, Marilyn Geller's feet and legs took notice.

"Sometimes my knees would hurt and sometimes my thighs would hurt yeah and it started with my left foot and went to my right foot," said Marilyn Geller, a foot pain patient.

Marilyn has fallen arches, or flat feet.

"In the sitting position, you have a nice arch but stand up for us, your foot flattens down, your feet roll in and your arch drops down."

Marilyn's arch drops because the ligament that pulls the toes toward the heel to create the arch stretches with age. If your foot lengthens more than a quart inch from sitting to standing, you have a flat foot. The more years you walk, the flatter the foot can become.

"Knee pain, back pain hip pain, as the arch collapse the foot rolls in and everything falls out of joint and the pain comes about," said Jeff Rich, from the U.S. Orthotic Center.

Flat feet may be painless, but when you are dogs are barking, get some arch supports.

You don't have to spend $300 to $1200 dollars for a custom orthotic like this, just go to any good sport store and you can find these inserts for $20 to $70.

Jeff Rich makes custom arch supports for when the off the shelf ones do not work. Watch the difference when Marilyn bends without them. Her knees touch from poor alignment. With orthotics in her shoes, her knees align over her toes. Her pains are gone. She is a fan.

"Go get orthotic and wear them, and do not walk without them, they're that helpful," said Marilyn.

Remember, flat feet are not always painful, and ankle, knee and hip pain can come about for other reasons. Jeff Rich says that if you buy over the counter arch supports, make sure they have a deep heel cup to stabilize the foot, and are raised at the arch to correct your flat feet.