18 Apr What exactly is the arch of your foot?
Fun Facts About Your Arch
How well do you know the arch of your foot? This key part of the foot helps you move with comfort and ease. If you have arch problems, you’ll have trouble walking and even standing. Here are some interesting facts about the arch.
There Are Three of Them
Although we often talk about the arch as a single body part, there are actually three arches in your foot:
• Medial longitudinal arch
• Lateral longitudinal arch
• Transverse arch
They each work in different ways to keep you standing and moving with ease. Each has its own ligaments and muscles. Your arches help your body balance its weight, absorb shocks, and propel your feet forward.
You Can Determine What Kind of Arch You Have
Do you have a flat, high, or normal arch? You can find out with a simple test. All you need is some water and a piece of cardboard. Get your foot wet, and step on the cardboard. You’ll see an imprint of your foot that shows where the arch bends. Look for the way the water fills the shape of your foot.
If the middle part of your arch is half filled, you have a normal arch.
Does the imprint look like a full, flat, foot, with no curves or bends? You have a flat arch.
If the imprint only shows a slim, curving sliver of your foot, you have a high arch.
Shoes Can Help You Manage Arch Problems
If you have arch problems, you can manage them with the right shoes and regular podiatric care. Your podiatrist is the best source of treatments that help you stay comfortable in every activity.
What shoes should you wear if you have arch issues? Here are some suggestions.
• Normal arch: If you have a normal arch, protect it with shoes that have moderate stability and extra protection in the heel.
• Flat arch: Many people with flat arches pronate, which means you roll your foot inward when you walk. Look for shoes with straight lasts and motion control that reduce stress on your foot and leg joints. Custom orthotics can also help.
• High arch: Look for shoes that compensate for your foot’s lack of shock absorption. You need extra padding around the foot and padded arch support. Custom fitted orthotics are an excellent choice because you can use them in all your shoes.
You May Have to Change Your Exercise Routine
If your arches are flat or high, you may have to change your exercise habits. Running is a high-impact activity that can make your arches hurt. Replace running with bicycling, elliptical training, swimming, or skiing to reduce the impact on your feet. Use skiing, elliptical, or biking machines instead of a treadmill at your gym.
Add exercises that increase strength and flexibility in your feet. Flexible muscles are less likely to be injured. If your arch problems are caused by unbalanced muscles, strength training will improve their balance.
Custom Orthotics Can Correct Arch Problems
Many people use orthotics or inserts to manage their arch problems. Be cautious about buying off-the-shelf inserts, however, unless you get them with your podiatrist’s recommendation. Custom fitted orthotics are a better choice. They use 3D printing to ensure a perfect fit and can be designed to fit the shoes you wear most often.
Arch pain can make you miserable, but the right orthotics will protect your feet and correct the imbalance caused by flat or high arches. If you need custom orthotic inserts, contact Shuman Podiatry. We use 3D imaging and advanced technology to create orthotics that fit your feet perfectly.