People with flat feet may have difficulty with any physical activity that involves pushing off the ground, such as running. When someone has flat feet, it basically means that they have a collapsed or low arch in their foot.
Arches are crucial to us since they absorb and redirect shocks while we are walking or running. Running can be hard on someone with a flat foot because it requires them to put their weight on their toes when they land which can result in stress and strain on the arch of the foot.
Flat-footed runners, when not properly supported, can easily develop various problems like overpronation. Overpronation leads to tension and pain which can cause discomfort in not only your feet, but also your lower back, hips, lower legs, and knees. There are cases where swelling of the feet may occur after running for long periods.
Overpronation can also lead to other serious ailments such as tendonitis. This is the inflammation of the tendons in the knees and ankles. Severe tendonitis can rupture ligaments or lead to tendon injuries.
Flat-footed runners can also develop shin splints, which is acute pain occurring in the shins while running. Many flat-footed runners also find that running on a hard surface causes pain in the rear of their knee, also some may develop what is called “patellofemoral syndrome”. This is a knee pain caused by the impact of the legs hitting the front of the knee.
Having flat feet does not necessarily mean you give up on your hopes of running. There are a few techniques that can be adapted to cope with the pain that comes with running. One of the key factors that will contribute to reducing the risk of injury is running shoes. By being properly fitted and having the proper shoe, you can reduce these overuse injuries by keeping your motion-controlled.
Learning the correct technique for running is also a great way of reducing the impact of flat feet. Typically, a physical therapist advises you on how to keep steps and which part of your foot lands first while running. Having an erect posture while running could also help in reducing the pain of running with flat feet.
There are certain cases of flat feet; depending on severity, type, and trouble they may be causing, where orthotics inserts are recommended. Insoles are placed inside of your running shoes to maintain stability and proper alignment of your feet as well as provide additional support. A good practice is seeking out a physical therapist to help you in deciding the suitable insoles for you.
In case there is inflammation of tendons, an ankle brace may be worn since it may come in hand. There are also several exercise routines that flat feet runners can do to improve the strength and flexibility of their feet. After every run, flat foot runners should stretch, especially major muscles like triceps, hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
Another good exercise technique is placing a golf ball under your feet and rolling it forward and back under the arch of your foot while being seated. This helps to stretch your plantar fascia ligament.