10 Feb How Flat Feet Affect Your Posture
If you have flat feet, you are already aware of how the condition can be a hassle in daily life. For women with flat feet, strappy sandals, high heels etc. and for men, fashion-forward shoes or even standard sneakers with thin soles, are off-limits. This footwear offers very little in terms of foot support and people with flat feet suffer from severe pain within minutes of wear.
If you like playing a sport or running, flat feet can cause injuries and pain. These sports and physical activities prove to be a nightmare, and there are times when walking longer distances can become a tedious chore as well. But what many people don’t realise is that they should not take flat feet lightly; neither should they be neglected nor shrugged off as a trivial issue. Flat feet can be painful, but they can also impact your overall posture, leading to injury and pain, which affects far more than your feet.
Why Your Feet are So Important
The design and structure of a foundation are crucial to the stability and integrity of a building. Similarly, the feet have a pivotal role to play in our bodies. They do a lot of heavy work, and if their structure isn’t right or they don’t have the right kind of support, the outcome can be disastrous. Our feet support our body and even if one small aspect of them is “off” that can impact the rest of the body too, including our body posture.
Why Does Body Posture Matter So Much?
Maintaining the right body posture isn’t just about looking good. When we talk about body posture, we are referring to the alignment & positioning of the body in relation to gravity. Regardless of whether you are standing, sitting, lying down or walking, gravity is always at work and impacts your body. It exerts pressure on your muscles, ligaments and joints.
Maintaining good posture helps to distribute those forces in a more equal way so that the stresses are spread over the entire foot, and no one part gets pressurised excessively. Just as we focus on sitting upright, throwing our shoulders back and walking straight, it is essential to focus on the impact that flat feet have on your posture too. There’s a very close connection between the condition and health of your feet and the condition of other parts of your body.
Some parts of the anatomy that are far removed from the foot area can become affected too. Flat feet do not have shock-absorbing arches like healthy feet. This also means they overpronate, and this affects how gravity and movement get distributed throughout the body, especially parts of the anatomy like the lower back, hips, knees and ankles.
For example, if you have flat feet, it can cause you to overpronate and bend your knees unnaturally, which will give you a slightly unstable gait. This puts stress on the curves of the lower back and makes your hips tilt forward, pressurising the spine. Flat feet cause postural misalignment that often radiates through other parts of the body such as the head, neck and shoulders as all. Sportspersons with flat feet are also prone to injuries due to the excessive physical activity they are involved in.
Addressing Flat Feet-Related Posture Problems
Not many people realise they have flat feet, but there is a straightforward way to know this. The footprint test is the easiest way to tell if you have flat feet. Look at your wet footprints on the floor or the impression your feet leave in wet sand. If it is flat with no arch (cut-out at the side of each foot), it means you have flat feet.
Once you realise that you have flat feet, you would have to adopt a systematic approach to dealing with the problem. Consult a podiatrist. The professional would be able to assess precisely how flat your feet are, what defects are affecting other parts of your body, and what the condition of your feet’s arches is. They will work with you on a detailed plan to improve the condition and will recommend the best shoes for flat feet. Sometimes, these shoes and insoles may have to be customised for your feet.
They are specially designed to provide additional support to the arches, which helps prevent overpronation. They lend stability to the feet, allowing them to work better, which in turn enables you to maintain a better posture as well. This and some lifestyle changes can improve your comfort levels and reduce pain while walking as well.
If you have noticed any problems with your feet, contact a reputed podiatrist immediately immediately. For any more information on our podiatry services at Sydney Sports Podiatry, feel free to contact us at either one of our locations today.
Thanks for reading,
Sydney Sports Podiatry
1300 474 306