“Every day in the clinic, I see patients who are worried about their feet and their flat feet,” said lead author Gabriel Moisin. Such patients always have someone telling them that flat feet are a problem, he added.
It’s certainly possible that flat feet (medical terminology is “flat feet”) is associated with a problem, but it’s not certain. What’s more important, Moisan and colleagues say, is to focus on the pain and get it treated, rather than worrying about the appearance of your feet and arches.
“You may have low arches, but a lot of people do, and a lot of people with low arches have no problem with having low arches,” says Dr. says Patrick McKeon, Athletic Training Clinical Education Coordinator. New York did not contribute an essay. So how can that be called a malformation, he asks, especially if so many people have it, how can it be called a deviation from normality?
“We disagree on whether it’s normal or abnormal,” said John Keel, associate professor of emergency and sports medicine at the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine and co-author of “Normal or Abnormal?” says. Papers on flat feet. Keel and his co-authors note that although flat feet are common in children, most children develop a “normal arch” by age 10.
base of foot and spring
of arch of foot — the medial longitudinal arch — is a strong, elastic network of ligaments, tendons, and connective tissue that runs along the medial side between the front and back of the foot.
The arch, which is the foundation that supports the body, acts as a shock absorber that disperses the force exerted on the body, and as a spring that stores and releases energy while walking or running.
For decades, the medical and shoe fields have rushed to treat flat feet with supportive shoes, rather than considering flat feet as part of a bell curve of normal changes. orthodontic inserts and surgeryEven if there is no pain or other problems.
However, there is little to suggest that treating flat feet has any effect.
“If there was a causal relationship between flat feet and injury, most people with flat feet would be injured,” Moisan says. “And that’s really not the case.” Moisan highlights some more important factors to consider, including the amount of exercise you do, the surface you walk or run on, and any past injuries.
one of them, 2022 review Results from 30 studies and 3,404 runners included more than 100 individual biomechanical and musculoskeletal risk factors. The researchers concluded that available studies generally do not support biomechanical or musculoskeletal measures as risk factors for running injuries in non-elite runners.
Part of treatment includes shoe selection, especially for walkers and runners. That paradigm prescribes supportive shoes, stability, or movement control for people with flat feet. People with high arches are thought to have stiffer feet, so they choose shoes with more cushioning. However, there is little evidence to suggest that this approach of matching foot shape and shoe type makes any difference.
Research on military running shoes
Research on military personnel illustrates this point. Injury prevention is an important area of research in military medicine because injuries occur frequently during basic training.
in pooled analysis After three studies of nearly 7,200 Air Force, Army and Marine Corps recruits, reviewers found that selecting running shoes based on arch height had little to no risk of injury during military basic training. It was determined that there would be no impact.
Shoes are important, but not as important as we think, says Jay Decharley, a physical therapist and author of the bookRewiring Running: Reinventing Running for Stability, Strength, and Speed”
“Footwear does make a difference because people who do validation and innovation work with different brands of footwear,” he says. “But wearing shoes doesn’t solve the problem. Shoes may help you feel the pain and get through it, but it doesn’t solve the problem.”
Experts like McKeon recommend a more proactive approach to foot care, rather than relying on passive measures like shoes and orthotics to prevent injuries. Like the core stability of the spine. mckeon says The foot core uses the unique muscles of the foot and plays an important role in injury prevention.
Dichari agrees. “I train my core, hips, and knees to improve my athletic performance. My legs are no different.”
“This is exactly how we started looking at the core of the foot. If we can get people to learn how to better activate the intrinsic muscles of the foot, we can accomplish several things. ,” says McKeon.
First, they’re better immediate stabilizers for the foot joints, he says. Second, the feet act as a kind of sensor, connecting the body to the surface. “By learning how to turn on the muscles in your legs, you can better sense how your legs change in response to movement,” he says.
McKeon recommends runners and walkers start with what he calls a “neutral foot.” This can be found by sitting and standing, lifting your arch up and down, rocking your foot from side to side, and finding the midpoint between those two feet. Extreme.
When you go to a shoe store and choose shoes, Moisan has two rules. “My first rule is don’t change the type of shoe unless you have an injury.” If you need to change from what’s been working, resist the temptation of new colors or trendy brands. please.
His second rule is that the shoes fit well – comfortable and lightweight. “It seems so easy to say, but so many people wear shoes that aren’t wide enough or too short,” says Moisan.
Ultimately, Moisan said, the message is simple: “Don’t worry about what your feet look like.”
For clinicians, his view is similar. “Stop focusing on the foot itself and start focusing on the problem.”
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