Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is one of the main causes for fallen arches. The tibialis posterior is a muscle in the lower leg. The tendon from this muscle runs behind the inside bone on the ankle, across the instep and attaches to the bottom of the foot. The tibialis posterior helps hold the arch of the foot up and stops the foot from rolling over. Sometimes the tendon becomes stretched and inflamed. This condition is called Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) or Acquired Adult Flat Foot. Most people refer to this condition simply as fallen arches.
How it progresses?
- Trauma or injury: Occasionally, fallen arches may be due to fracture, sprain or direct blow to the tendon.
- Age: The risk of developing fallen arches increases with age. Research has suggested that middle aged women are more commonly affected.
- Being overweight: If a person has flat feet, greater weight can cause excessive stretching on the tibialis posterior tendon and cause fallen arches.
- Inflammatory arthritis: Inflammation and degeneration of the tendon, which may result in the tendon tearing.
- Inadequate support from footwear may also be a contributing factor.
These factors may cause the arch of the foot to collapse, hence “fallen arches”, and change the position of the bones of the foot and ankle.
Fallen arches common symptoms
- Pain along the inside of the foot and ankle, where the tendon lies. This may or may not be associated with swelling in the area.
- Pain that is worse with activity. High-intensity or high-impact activities, such as running, can be very difficult.
- Pain on the outside of the ankle. When the foot collapses, the heel bone may shift to a new position outward.
The following measures can help prevent fallen arches:
● Recognize the symptoms. When you recognize the symptoms of fallen arches early on, you improve your chances of preventing further problems from developing. The most common symptom is a sharp, burning pain in the arch and heel area. Other symptoms include swollen ankles, and difficulty standing on your tiptoes, jumping high or running fast. Some people also experience pain in the calf, knee or lower back.
● Footwear for fallen arches is important. It is advisable to wear sturdy fallen arches shoes such as lace-up shoes or boots that stabilize the foot and can accommodate orthotic insoles and braces.
● Wear supportive orthotic insoles. Orthotics for fallen arches can help support the arches of the feet and compensate for over-pronation. Wearing proper foot orthotics and fallen arches insoles together with fallen arches shoes can help reduce strain on the posterior tibial tendon and alleviate pain and inflammation.
● Perform exercises that strengthen the arches. Strengthening the arches of your feet can help prevent fallen arches. There are several exercises you can do for this such as wrapping a towel around the sole of your foot and then extending and holding your leg in the extended position for 30 seconds. You can also, or stand barefoot on a hard surface and flex your feet as hard as you can, to activate the arch muscle, while also making sure that your feet don’t role and that your toes don’t press down.
How to buy shoes for fallen arches?
Like any good investment, especially when the investment concerns your health, you should know what features to look for in a product before you buy it. The same holds true when you’re shopping for fallen arches shoes. To find the best shoes for fallen arches, make sure they have the following features:
● Premium orthotic insoles that provide anatomical arch support to help align the foot and reduce over-pronation.
● A firm heel counter that holds the heel, supports the foot and reduces over-pronation.
● Shoes with soles that provide firm support and don’t collapse under the arch of the foot.
● An extra-depth design that provides a relaxed fit and allows for greater toe motion as well as accommodates custom orthotics.
● Removable insoles that can be replaced with custom orthotics.
Orthofeet’s bio-medical engineers have designed its footwear with unique orthopedic features to offer some of the best footwear for fallen arches on the market. Browse our large selection of fallen arches shoes and even try them risk free with our 60-day wear test. Click here for more information on Orthofeet’s shoes for fallen arches.