Kayla Nehus, a runner at the University of Central Arkansas was not given a huge vote of confidence from others early in her running career. Due to having flat feet, she was informed that she would not be able to hope for a successful career as a competitive runner. Refusing to let the negativity discourage her, Nehus let it spur her to try even harder which led her to land all-conference and all-state honors for three years in a row at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock. She was later recruited to the University of Central Arkansas where the coach did not believe that she would be able to make it very far in her running career until she shot to the top of team rankings as an incoming freshman.
Having flat feet does not mean that it is impossible to participate in sports, but the condition may require extra care. If you think you have flat feet you should seek out the care of a podiatrist such as Dr. Bryant Tarr of Sudbury & Westford Podiatry Dr. Tarr can diagnose any foot conditions you may have as well as provide you with a range of treatment options.
What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet are a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. Standing about 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arch never formed during growth.
Conditions & Problems:
Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.
Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.
Knees – if you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.
- Pain around the heel or arch area.
- Trouble standing on the tip toe.
- Swelling around the inside of the ankle.
- Flat look to one or both feet.
- Having your shoes feel uneven when worn.
If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle. There are several ways to help treat this pain and help flat feet.
Barefoot- studies show that those who grew up going barefoot, wearing less closed-toe shoes have more of an arch. This so happens because the strength and fullness of the arch increased.
Exercise - the will strengthen and stretch the area, helping with the Achilles tendon.
Shoe Inserts - orthopedists will often recommended patients with ankle supports. This reduces pain especially those who suffer from flat feet.
Surgery - tendon surgery is an option that can help with any posterior tears. As with any surgery, it is important to speak with your doctor for professional advice.
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