Help For Low Arches – North Adelaide Orthotics
Painful foot and ankle conditions arising from fallen or low arches is a common condition seen in our orthotic shop. North Adelaide Orthotics offer custom orthotic solutions for a range of painful problems throughout our local and surrounding Walkerville, Medindie, Bowden and Croydon communities.
What are Low Arches?
Low arches, also known as fallen arches or pes planus, are the most commonly presenting foot posture problem. The medial arch is the most important arch and is maintained by muscles, ligaments and also the arrangement of bones in your foot. This arch has several functions including operating as a foot stabiliser, and maintaining foot rigidity and the biomechanical alignment of your foot. Some people are born with low arches while others develop them later in life as a result of increased joint laxity, decreased muscle strength and ligament changes. Weight bearing activity on low arches will overload associated tissue and cause micro tears, inflammation, and significant pain in and around your feet. The most effective way to resolve this is by understanding the condition and addressing the underlying causes.
Causes of Low Arches
A thorough clinical examination is required to determine the cause of low arches as they often result from various complex issues.
The most common causes of low arches are:
- Congenital (you are born with them)
- Lower limb injuries
- Excessive weight or sudden weight gain
- Long term activites which fatigue supportive tissues
Signs You May Have Low Arches
Low arches are initially detected visually. If you inspect your feet whilst seated and notice that the arch height changes when you stand, it is likely that you have low or fallen arches.
Other signs include:
- Pain in the feet, knees, hips or back when standing for extended periods
- Feet pointing outwards
- Uneven wear on shoes (wear to the inside greater)
Management of Low Arches
In order to successfully manage low arches, it is important to address the cause of the problem rather than simply managing the symptoms. Employing the latest technology and biomechanical assessment techniques, we are able to identify those tissues under excessive load allowing us to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address your specific needs. Typically your plan will involve biomechanical correction, self-management strategies, and modalities that address any structural imbalance.
Treatment options for low arches include:
• Soft tissue mobilisation
• Stretching and strengthening
• Weight loss
• Motion control running shoes
• Anti-inflammatory medications
• Injection of corticosteroids
The majority of low arch cases are due to degenerative change (aging). If not addressed these changes will continue and lead to secondary complications both locally and further up the biomechanical chain.
To help improve your low arches and ensure that you get back to your best as quickly as possible, the following steps can be taken:
- Watch the self-assessment video and analyse your foot posture.
- Consider the causes of low arches above, and determine which may be relevant to your particular situation.
- Arrange a free lower limb biomechanical assessment (valued at $79). Simply click on the free gait analysis button below to download your free voucher and start addressing your pain today.