Pes Planus (Flat Feet)
This is where the feet have a low medial arch. You can either be born with flat feet or an individual can acquire this with age. Flat feet is essentially the collapsing of the medial arches and where the feet point away from the body.
Common Causes of Pes Planus
- non-supportive footwear
- overuse in terms of walking and standing for long periods of time
- high intensity sports
- previous injuries
- weakness of the ligaments, muscles, tendons
- fast weight gain
- forefoot or heel mal-alignments
Common Symptoms of Pes Planus
- knee pain
- medial arch and heel pain
- tired and sore leg muscles
- hip pain
- joint pain in the arch or ankle area
- Achilles tendon strain
- shin splints or shin pain
- turned out feet
Treatment Options for Pes Planus
Orthotics prescribed by a doctor is an excellent option.
Orthotics for flat feet should have extra wedging under the medial side of the heel or the forefoot to correct the mal-alignment; a cupped heel to control a turned in foot; a medial lengthwise arch support that reflects the individual’s foot type and flexibility.
Types of Footwear
Stable footwear and orthopaedic and therapeutic shoes are important to the treatment process.
Motion control shoes should be built with a wide base of the sole that provides both lateral and medial support. This kind of support can work in sandals, boots, walking shoes and athletic shoes.
Pes Cavus (High Arched Foot)
This kind of rigid foot structure does not absorb shock well, and thus the heel and forefoot are overworked. The ankle and foot most likely roll outward which strains the lateral tendons and ankle ligaments. Having a high arched foot is mostly congenital and not usually problematic.
Common Cause of Pes Cavus
- neurological conditions such as Polio, Spina Bifida, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
Common Symptoms of Pes Cavus
- pain in the tiny bones within the flexor tendons under the first metatarsal heads (seasmoids)
- callousing and pain under the ball of the foot
- an individual with diabetes is susceptible to ulcers in the dorsal and distal toes, dorsal instep, metatarsal heads, and the plantar heel
- pain in the plantar mid-arch and in the mid-tarsal joints
- fatigue and aching in the muscles and joints of the back and legs, thus resulting in a stiff gait
Treatment Options for Pes Cavus
Orthotics that are prescribed by a doctor. These orthotics should include soft forefoot material to provide a cushion for the metatarsal heads; deep heel cupping and lateral support to control the foot from rolling outward; hollowing out the orthotic under the metatarsal heads to relieve pressure; a metatarsal pad or bar to lift and separate the metatarsal heads.
Types of Footwear for Pes Cavus
Stable footwear which includes orthopaedic or therapeutic shoes.
These shoes shoes should have a wide stable base and lateral stability to help reduce the outward rolling of the foot; rocker soles to encourage forward movement while at the same time limiting flexing and plantar pressure of the toe joints; proper depth for high insteps and clawed toes is essential. Material like lycra and neoprene work well to help with clawed toes.