There are a great number of people whose feet are flat – otherwise known as fallen arches. For many, this is an insignificant issue and causes little or no difficulty. If, however, you happen to be a dancer, a runner, or even a particularly keen walker, and experience mild to moderate pain, the assessment of your foot function may play a role in the treatment approach to help you to maintain your level of activity.
Who should see a chiropractor for their flat feet?
If you’re an athlete that is suffering from arch pain, tenderness of the ankle, or even shin pain, you should definitely have your situation assessed to rule out injury. The worry about not knowing the cause of your pain may lead to an escalation of symptoms. Sudden muscle strains or protective bracing of muscles in your flat feet can cause increased pain. Without treatment, these situations may lead to painful shin splints and other challenges. In the case of strain, it is often indicated to take a rest period of a few days with increasing movement and activity over the subsequent weeks in order to allow inflammation to subside and stress injuries to heal while maintaining function. If the issue is protective bracing of the muscles, treatment to decrease the protection can help alleviate your pain.
What can I expect at my Consultation and Assessment?
Your visit will begin with an in-depth assessment. Your chiropractor will assess your gait, standing position, muscle tension and joint mobility. They will also take a history of past injuries and health concerns. You can help by coming prepared with detailed information about any foot or leg related issues you’ve had in the past, and by being ready to answer questions about how you feel during sports, while you are at work and while at rest. Having a solid understanding of your pain and limitations provides a clear picture for the development of a comprehensive treatment plan.
What will my treatment plan be like?
Your chiropractor will devise a unique treatment plan to address your pain and get you moving again. This can be a multi-pronged approach that includes:
- Manipulation and Adjustments to relieve your pain experience
- Deep or gentle massage
- Strengthening and Stretching and Mobility Exercises
- Recommendation for Orthotics
- Shoe Assessment
Treatment usually takes place once or twice a week, with daily exercises prescribed as “homework” for maximum results. How quickly you see improvement depends on a number of factors including the extent of your injuries and your ability to actively participate in your recovery.
Are there any other therapeutic options that could help with my fallen arches?
It is sometimes helpful to participate with multiple disciplines to get the best results out of your treatment. Your chiropractor may recommend physiotherapy or massage therapy to help you manage your pain and improve your flexibility and strength. It’s important to ensure all of these therapies take place under one roof to allow your caregivers to collaborate with one another so that you are never over or under working any one area.
What can I do to help with my recovery and maintain my results?
Long after your treatment is over, you can help keep your feet healthy by:
- Wearing quality shoes that are comfortable and allow you to participate in your desired activities.
- Stay strong through strengthening exercises
- Include alternate training options in your routine to provide varied stress to your feet – such as swimming, water aerobics or elliptical machine
- Address any new injuries quickly with your healthcare team
- You can schedule periodic assessments with your chiropractor to ensure you stay moving.
If you have been suffering from arch, ankle or shin pain during your sport of choice, you may have flat feet, they are generally not the cause of pain or a great cause for worry, however it may play a role in your treatment . Call Achieve Health for a consultation today to see how we can get you back in the game!