As we age our feet can change shape. The muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the arch start to get weaker with age, which is when we typically see patients suffering with fallen arches. Even those with large prominent arches can experience fallen arches later in life.
Signs that the arch has fallen include pain that worsens while standing, as well as the ankle rolling in when you step. Fallen arches can also occur during pregnancy, or can be caused by weight issues. People who work on their feet all day are at a higher risk of developing fallen arches.
Fortunately, there are several methods of treatment for fallen arches. Stretching exercises and physical therapy can be used to help strengthen the muscles that support the arch. If the area is swollen and painful your podiatrist will recommend anti-inflammatory pills, injections, and rest. Your podiatrist will usually recommend a change in shoes, along with either over the counter or custom orthotic shoe inserts. The advantage of having a custom orthotics made is that it can address several foot issues, from fallen arches to ankle instability and everything in between, because they are custom fit to every patient and their problems.
If you or a loved one is experiencing pain in your feet or ankles remember, pain is not normal. Pain is our bodies only way of telling us that something is wrong, so heed the warning and see your local podiatrist. You will probably be surprised by how easily they can get you out of that pain and back to living a full life.