Flat foot is a disease that makes the arch of the foot flat. For this reason, the feet lose their damping properties. According to the statistics, women suffer from flat feet 4 times more often than men. An exacerbated form of the disease may lead to arthritis, arthrosis, pain in the back and calves, spine curvature.
A human foot is unique.
It is designed in such a way that it provides great damping properties to keep the balance when walking and standing, and to relieve the impact on the spine. The foot has two arches: a transverse one (near the base of the toes), and a longitudinal one (along the inner edge of the foot). A system of muscles and joints supports the arches. Not a single animal has feet designed in such a way as ours are. Even the kangaroo does not have damping feet.
Flat feet are rarely serious. Every 4th person in the world has flat feet. Most of them do not have any symptoms. However, sometimes the disease can cause problems with walking, running and standing.
Flat feet are considered to be a norm in infants and babies, when the tissues and bones are not strong enough to form the feet arches and to support them. Sometimes the tightening does not occur completely, which develops flat feet. The risks to develop flat feet are higher if this disease runs in your family.
Some other factors, that can worsen flat feet, are:
- overweight and obesity;
- excessive impact on the feet caused by certain physical activities (for example, skiing or skating);
- uncomfortable narrow shoes, high-hilled shoes;
- rickets, poliomyelitis, diabetes mellitus;
- injury or trauma.
The causes can be age-related, since with times body muscles get weaker. Shop assistants, hairdressers, surgeons are more exposed to flat feet due to long-term standing at work.
To prevent or avoid the symptoms of flat feet just follow simple everyday rules:
- in sports give preference to swimming over skiing to reduce the impact on your feet;
- wear special sports shoes when working out;
- have barefoot walks on the grass, sand, ground or stones;
- massage the toes and soles of your feet;
- comfortable shoes with a 4-5 cm hill are recommended for everyday wear.