Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Many of you have picked up running this week. As you add the miles on focus on your form first and the speed will follow.
Flat feet describes feet that do not arch in the middle. When standing the entire sole of the foot is touching the floor. Flat feet in toddlers and infants is normal. As children grow, the feet normally develop an arch. So that by the age of ten most children no longer have them.
When an adult develops flat feet it may occur because the muscles supporting the inner foot and arch have weakened. In other cases the spring ligament, which runs along the medial aspect of the foot loses some of its tension allowing the foot to flatten. Sudden weight gain, a nervous system injury or fusion of the bones forming the arch can also lead to the development.
The symptoms vary from person to person. Flat feet can cause pain in the feet, medial ankle, calf muscles, knees, hips and even lower back. Pain typically worsens with activity. Many people often have extremely tight lateral calf and hamstring muscle. This tightness can cause increased pronation during the push off of your rum/walk. Massage techniques can help ease tightness and improve biomechanics during the push off phase. This will lessen the degree of pronation. Regular stretching and foam rolling assists in maintaining flexibility through these tight muscles.
Strengthening the small muscle of the foot that supports the arch is a must. Also work on strengthening the medial quad, gluts and core. Core strength and stability, reduces loading making you more efficient. A simple yet effective thing you can do is squeeze your glutes while standing and then maintain the lift. Did you notice your arch lift? Think about standing tall and engaging the core and glutes during your walk/run.
Gait assessment and adaption to your running technique is also important but start looking at your feet before taking that next run.
Here is a good video to help explain a few things with 3 exercises included. https://youtu.be/MWpyQee_OWg