Your feet are your base of support…they are your foundation. And when your foundation is not stable, this can severely affect your posture. This kind of instability can lead to various issues in your back, hips, knees, and ankles. Studies reveal that flat feet can be a major cause of severe headaches and even migraines.
As a matter of fact, experts agree that at least 25 percent of migraine headaches are caused by postural issues. When the feet are weak, the muscles in the lower limbs end up contracting for a longer period of time. These overloaded muscles then produce signals that may overwhelm the brain. As a result, blood vessels within the brain become inflamed, and this is when you will feel a lot of pounding pain in your head.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flat feet is a very common condition that affects almost 25 percent of the world’s population. Normally, a person has a space on the interior side of the foot, which is referred to as the arch of the foot. The manner in which this arch is developed actually varies from one person to another, and those who have no or very low arch are believed to have Flat Feet.
The arch of the foot is formed through the tightening of the ligaments and muscles present in the structure of the foot. These ligaments and muscles are what support the numerous bones of the foot. These arches are important because they create the proper foot or leg position that ensures the even distribution of a person’s body weight over the legs and the feet. When the body is unable to create this arch, it can lead to an incorrect posture of the legs and the entire body. Typically, the flatter one’s feet are, the more affected his or her posture is.
How Does It Feel to Have Flat Feet?
Having flat feet doesn’t always mean you will naturally feel pain in various parts of your body. In fact, many great runners have flat feet. But of course, there’s always a possibility that your flat feet can affect your posture. People respond differently to their flat feet. Many experience heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis) or pain under the ball of their feet (metatarsalgia). Falling arches also cause misalignment of the body, which is considered as the most frequent cause of hip, back, ankle, and knee pain. Moreover, flat feet are also associated with neck and shoulder pain, scoliosis, and headaches.
Functional Vs Structural Flat Feet, a simple test!
To see whether or not your flat feet are functional (muscle weakness etc) or Structural (bones shaped or positioned a certain way) then try out the following test. Sit on a high chair or bed with your feet off the ground. If you seem to have an arch in the seated position but not when standing, then you are believed to have a functional flat foot. However, if your arch is the same seated and standing then its believed to be structural.
When Flat Feet Cause Headaches
According to a study published in the UK in 2010, 1 out of 4 headaches are caused by flat feet. The researchers explain that flat feet lead to poor posture, which then places too much pressure in the muscles of the body, especially in the back, and this is what causes headaches.
Again, not everyone who has flat feet experiences pain. This is because flat feet come in varying degrees. Some of the most common conditions associated with flat feet are plantar fasciitis and posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. These conditions may occur separately or they may happen together as well.
What Can You Do about Flat Feet?
While there’s nothing much you can do about being structurally flat-footed, there are several ways you may restore the functionality of your feet.
1. Spend more time with bare feet.
Once you’ve arrived home, be sure to take off your shoes as soon as possible. Walking in bare feet is good not only for your feet, but for your entire body as well. By doing things without your shoes on, you will learn how to use your feet comfortably again.
2. Strengthen your foot intrinsic muscles.
Doing toe exercises will help strengthen the muscles and ligaments on your toes, which can also lead to stronger feet. There are several things you can do to achieve this, such as the following:
● Pick anything in the room and point your toes at anything. Flex your foot and hold it for around five seconds before you release it. Do this exercise ten times on each foot every day.
● Regularly stand on your toes and walk around for at least 5 minutes every day. Try not to let your heels touch the ground during the exercise.
- Practice balancing on one foot without rolling inward or outward too much. To increase the intensity of this exercise, turn your upper body to the left and right while still grounding your one foot.
3. Manipulate the bones in your feet.
Just like your spinal bones, the bones in your feet can be manipulated or adjusted. There are many small bones in your feet that may get stuck after prolonged use or old injuries. By manipulating these bones, the stress on the bottom of your foot will be relieved, which can then lessen its pain and inflammation.
4. Get a foot massage.
This massage isn’t the kind of massage many of us aren’t used to. The massage for plantar fasciitis is actually not the most comfortable massage you will get. Nevertheless, this is very helpful as it breaks up scar tissue and stimulates blood flow to the inflamed foot tissue.
5. Use custom-built orthotics.
People who have flat feet may also have a custom caster orthotic made for your shoe. This will help decrease the stress on your feet. If you have plantar fasciitis, this may not be necessary for you, but it can still give positive results.
Dealing with flat feet requires a variety of approach that combines clinical treatment with great home care treatment methods. Using the right holistic therapy will help you overcome the conditions caused by flat feet.