Why do our feet have arches?

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You probably don’t put much thought into it, but the feet do a lot of work, and it’s important work, too. They not only propel us for both work and fun, but they do so while absorbing tremendous impact. Every part of the foot makes an important contribution, including the arches, and if one part of the foot doesn’t function right it can affect the entire body. 

What are the arches for?

The arch of the foot is actually a brilliant design move. Arches add strength to the feet and help to provide balance and flexibility. 

To really appreciate the arch, it helps to know what can happen if you don’t have enough of an arch – a condition known as “flat feet” or “fallen arches.” This condition can be very painful. It can make it difficult to walk or run because of the extra stress that is placed on the legs and the extra tension that is placed on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the feet. Many people with flat feet are more at risk for knee arthritis. 

How do you know if you have “bad” arches?

You may be able to tell just by looking that your feet don’t have enough of an arch. You may also notice pain around the arch area or in the heel, swelling around the inside of the ankle, trouble standing on tiptoe, and a feeling like your shoes are uneven.   

What can you do about flat feet?

Your doctor will perform tests, possibly including an x-ray or a CT scan, to figure out exactly what is wrong with your feet. He or she may recommend arch supports that fit in the shoes, support shoes, or even stretching exercises or physical therapy. Avoiding activities that aggravate sore feet, over-the-counter pain relievers, and losing weight can also help if your feet are bothering you. 

You probably don’t put too much thought into your feet – until they start to hurt. If you just can’t stand the pain anymore, call Sports, Occupational and Knee Surgery in San Antonio, TX, for an appointment. Call (210) 696-9000 today!

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