The arch of your foot plays a pivotal role in helping our feet displace stress with every step we take, but it shouldn’t have to handle this stress on its own. Shoes and custom orthotics are great ways to help your arch handle stress and take some of the pressure off the area, which can help to prevent injuries. Below, we take a closer look at why it’s important to support your arch, and how you can best do it.
Problems Associated With Unsupported Arches
Regardless of whether you have very high arches or relatively flat feet, it’s important to care for your foot arches so that problems don’t develop. Some common issues that can be caused by overstressed and under-supported arches include:
Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction
Overpronation (which can lead to hip pain, calluses, and hammertoes)
Aside from these directly-related conditions, poor arch support can lead to a number of other issues, like decreased coordination, balance issues, unstable foot movement and an increased risk of ankle sprains or ankle fractures due to less support when walking on uneven terrain. So if you’re dealing with arch pain, or you have an arch that you want to protect, you’ll want to read the next section on how to best support your foot arch.
Five Ways To Protect Your Foot Arch
Here’s a look at five ways you can work to protect your foot arch and prevent the previously listed problems:
1. Shoe Choice – When picking out a shoe, make sure you find an option that best caters to the contours of your foot. Not sure how to find the best pair? Ask a foot specialist or a shoe fitter to help you find a style that supports your arch.
2. Orthotic Inserts – Another good option is an orthotic insert. Again, it’s best to talk to a foot specialist to ensure the insert you choose is actually providing the type of support you want, but these are worth investing in because you can move them from shoe to shoe if you don’t always wear the same pair.
3. Strength Training – Targeted strength training and balance exercises are both great ways to improve the muscles and structures of the arch and those that provide support to the arch. A simple google search for “foot arch exercises” will yield plenty of ways to strengthen the area.
4. Stretching – Stretching helps to get the arch ready for activity, so it’s smart to take a couple of minutes to ease into activity before loading your feet with stress. Whether you stretch before getting out of bed or before going for an afternoon running, gradually easing your arch into activity can help to prevent overstress injuries.
5. Specialist Consult – Finally, if you’re beginning to be bothered by foot arch pain, do yourself a favor and connect with a foot specialist like Dr. Silverman. Early, proactive treatment can help to keep problems from getting worse, and a solution is likely easier than you may have realized. Let us help keep your foot arch strong and supported.