The arch in your foot exists to provide stability to your feet and it also acts as a shock-absorber to reduce stress during activities like running, walking etc. However, some people have naturally flat feet which indicate that they don’t have an arch in their foot, thus increasing the risks of injury to not only the foot but also to the ankles as well as the knees. In such cases, you would think that strenuous activities like running would not be possible due to the risk of injury to the foot, but if proper care is taken to eliminate excess stress on the feet, then even people with flat feet can enjoy running. Without the proper care to reduce and control overpronation, there is a high risk of various types of injuries to your feet, ankles, and legs.
Taking control of overpronation begins with diagnosing it. Our feet are not perfect, so a little overpronation is natural while landing the foot during walking and running, but some people are prone to excessive overpronation and that is where the problem lies. There are certain methods that you can try to check if you tend to overpronate. If your feet including the arches, completely touch the ground while you are standing then it is a pretty accurate sign of overpronation. You can also see the imprint of your wet foot by placing it on a towel and if you observe that a complete silhouette of your foot is formed without any gap where the arch should exist, then you overpronate.
The experts at Comfort Stride Foot Care Clinic and Orthotics have listed a few ways through which you can control overpronation and even enjoy running without injuring your feet and legs.
Motion Control Shoes
It has been observed that while running the impact of each foot on the ground produces a force equal to 3-4 times your bodyweight. This can cause extensive damage to your feet and legs if you are wearing the wrong type of shoes. People with flat feet should look at Motion-Control running shoes which are specially designed to provide stability to your feet by controlling overpronation while running. These shoes contain a dense stability device in the midsole section of the shoe which provides enhanced stability and motion control. These shoes are manufactured by adding a hard version of foam to the midsole of the shoe which naturally falls below the part of the foot where the natural arch should be.
Orthotics Can Help
Orthotics can also prove to be immensely helpful if you tend to overpronate. With orthotics, you have the choice of opting for the relatively cheaper over-the-counter variety or you can get one custom built according to the shape and size of your feet, but it will cost you significantly more. Orthotics come with arch support and a deep heel cup which ensure that your feet get the required stability and control to prevent overpronation.
Fallen Arches Effects
While a little overpronation doesn’t cause much harm, excessive overpronation can result in numerous injury risks ranging from patellofemoral pain syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome to bunions, shin splints, anterior compartment syndrome, plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. So, wearing the right kind of footwear or orthotics is extremely crucial for the overall well-being of your feet and legs if you have flat feet. While wearing the right kind of footwear is important, it is also crucial that you don’t use it after its 400 to 500 mile running lifespan.
Strength Training Reduces Stress
Exercise, specifically strength training can also be immensely useful for people with flat feet. While Motion-Control shoes and orthotics definitely do their part in helping to stabilize the foot during movement, nothing beats the effectiveness of strengthened muscles in providing stability and reducing stress. Weight training to strengthen important muscles of your legs like calves, quadriceps, hamstring and gluteus muscles will impart much-needed stability and control to your feet during running.
If you have flat feet or looking for custom orthotics, call the Comfort Stride Foot Care Clinic today at 647-560-1030 to book a consultation with a qualified podiatrist.