Dropped, Dropping, Fallen Arches

Who can ever believe that the feet you were born with would one day change. When we are young, light and supple, our feet hardly gave us any idea they existed. Then we grew up, started working behind desks, commuting in all sorts of ‘seated’ transport, and got heavier….bigger. What did this mean…it meant there was more pressure on the poor little feet responsible for carrying all that load. Of course its more complicaed than just what I have described, there are many types of feet, from rigid to mobile , from high arched to low, and they all respond in their own way to the forces placed upon them.

Essentially there are two arches in the foot. The Longitudinal arch and the transverse arch. The longitudinal runs from the inside part of the heel to behind the big toe joint, and the transverse arch runs across the ball of the foot from the 1st metatarsal to the 5th.

Dropping of any of these arches can lead to a variety of changes in the foot. Callus on the ball of the foot, burning sensations, neural irritation, joint pain, retracting or claw toes to name a few. Dropping Longitudinal arches lead to arch pain, plantar fasciitis, peroneal pain, shin splints, bunions, knee pain, osteoarthritis, hip and lower back pain.

You can see how dropped arches can be the fore runner of a whole host of ailments, which unless dealt with correctly can cause much aches and pains.

The first thing to do, is to get a biomechanical assessment to see what your feet are all about. Testing the foot and leg alignment, muscle flexibility, footwear will reveal the cause of the changes in the feet.

Each case must be dealt with on its unique needs, but the one common denominator for all Dropped Arches is calf flexibility. Our lifestyles of sitting, contribute to loss of calf flexibility. This leads to changes in how the foot moves. The foot starts to pronate (roll in) more that before untill such a time as the foot reaches the point where it can pronate no further. Once it reaches this point, compensation will be taken out on the next available joint ie – knee, hip and lower back. Should the forces increace, the foot may start to collapse even further. This requires tremendous force to achieve and is more common in older people. It is one of the reasons why we see so many of the elderly using sticks , walkers and wheel chairs.

Dropped arches, is an unnecessary condition to acquire. Fortunately there are many symptoms that precede Dropped arches like Callus, neuroma, bunions, leg , knee and back pain.

Think about looking after your feet , make sure they give you a life long service, by getting the right advice.