Arch Supports Can Worsen Your Flat Feet My Opinion

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Flat Feet Relief Techniques can seem like a mystery to many.

The discomfort, the pain... it's enough to make anyone feel helpless. But know this - you're not by yourself in this challenge. Millions around the world grapple with flat feet every day.

In fact, mastering Flat Feet Relief Techniques could be your ticket out of this painful cycle and into a life of comfort and mobility.

The Downside of Arch Supports for Flat Feet

Arch supports are commonly recommended as a solution to manage flat feet, also known as flexible flatfoot or adult-acquired flatfoot. However, arch supports may not be suitable for everyone.

The role of arch supports in managing flat feet

Orthotic devices like arch support work by providing artificial support to your foot's anatomy. This can help alleviate midfoot pain and improve the gait associated with this condition. However, it's important to note that these devices may only provide temporary relief.

How continuous use can hinder natural foot strengthening

Relying heavily on custom-designed arch supports could potentially lead to more harm than good over time.

Prolonged usage may prevent our muscles from naturally adapting and getting stronger. Furthermore, it has been observed that wear patterns change when using orthotics which could affect soft tissues around the ankle leading to possibly even shortened Achilles tendon.

So while nonsurgical treatments such as wearing inserts might seem appealing initially due to their non-invasive nature and potential immediate dull pain relief, we need to consider long-term implications.

The science behind these symptoms is still being explored by orthopedic surgeons worldwide who continue to produce detailed images to understand better how different interventions impact the overall health person's foot.

Now let's delve into what causes this common yet often misunderstood disorder - stay tuned.

Underlying Causes of Flat Feet

The common perception about flat feet, or adult-acquired flatfoot, often revolves around foot anatomy and wear patterns. However, Dr. Berg suggests an intriguing theory that goes beyond the traditional understanding of this condition.

Manganese Deficiency as a Cause

A deficiency in manganese at birth could potentially contribute to developing flexible flatfoot later in life. It is thought that manganese has a key part in bone formation and growth.

This mineral is vital for producing enzymes responsible for forming cartilage and collagen - essential components of our skeletal system including midfoot structures.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Its Effects

In addition to manganese deficiency, Vitamin D shortage may also be implicated in causing painful flatfeet symptoms. Vitamin D's importance extends far beyond just maintaining healthy bones; it's integral to muscle function too.

If deficient from birth, muscles might not develop properly leading possibly to weakened arches thus predisposing individuals toward acquiring this foot disorder. Furthermore, low levels can cause abnormalities within soft tissues which are fundamental parts supporting our feet.

Paying attention to these deficiencies early on can provide exercises targeted specifically at correcting them, thereby improving gait over time and reducing reliance on nonsurgical treatments like orthotic devices and custom-designed arch supports.

Effective Techniques for Flat Feet Relief

If you're suffering from flat feet, don't despair. Various strategies exist that can bring relief and enhance foot health over the long term.

Stretching Exercises Designed Specifically For People With Flat Feet

The key to managing the discomfort associated with flat feet is regular stretching exercises. This simple exercise routine doesn't just target painful areas but also focuses on strengthening muscles in non-painful parts like the front part of your leg and the top part of your foot.

Here are some useful examples:

  1. Achilles Tendon Stretch: This stretch targets the Achilles tendon which often becomes shortened in individuals with collapsed arches or adult-acquired flatfoot due to constant pressure.

  2. Towel Curls: A great way to strengthen weakened soft tissues under your big toe is by gripping a towel using only your toes.

  3. Calf Raises: Slowly raise up onto the balls of both feet before lowering back down - an excellent workout not only for calves but also helps relieve pressure off fallen arches.

Why Working On Non-Painful Parts Provides More Relief?

You might wonder why we recommend focusing on these non-painful regions instead of directly addressing where it hurts most. By working out these specific muscle groups, it promotes overall balance, reducing the strain placed upon flattened arches thus leading to pain relief.

  • Promotes Muscle Balance: When one group gets stronger faster than others, this leads to imbalance causing more stress on weaker ones including those supporting our arches.

  • Increase Flexibility: Regular stretching increases flexibility within connective tissues helping alleviate symptoms related to flexible flatfeet.

Incorporating such targeted workouts into daily routines could potentially offer long-term benefits beyond immediate comfort. Stay tuned as the next section will delve deeper into another therapeutic technique - Foot Massage.

Importance Of Foot Massage For Flat Feet

If you're dealing with painful flatfeet, incorporating regular foot massages into your routine can provide significant relief. The science behind this lies in the stimulation of soft tissues and muscles that may be under stress due to a flattened arch or misaligned wear patterns on your feet.

Benefits received from regular foot massage sessions

A well-executed foot massage not only soothes midfoot pain but also helps improve gait over time. This is because massaging stimulates blood flow to affected areas, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

Besides physical benefits, these sessions are known for their therapeutic effects too.

They help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being - an aspect often overlooked when discussing treatments for adult-acquired flatfoot disorder.

Areas targeted during an effective massage session

An effective therapy session doesn't just focus solely on the soles of your feet; it extends up to lower leg regions as well. This comprehensive approach ensures all interconnected structures contributing towards maintaining proper foot anatomy receive adequate attention.

In addition to targeting obvious discomfort points like the heel or inner arch area, therapists will work on calf muscles (which could have shortened Achilles tendon) along with other parts such as the shin bone region which indirectly influences how our body bears weight while standing or walking.

Strengthening Your Own Natural Arches

The process through which muscles adapt over time

Feet are intricate assemblies of bones, joints, and supple tissues that work together to sustain weight and enable motion. The arches in particular play a key role in absorbing shock during walking or running activities.

In cases like adult-acquired flatfoot disorder where these natural arches have collapsed due to various reasons such as shortened Achilles tendon or midfoot pain, it is possible for them to regain strength gradually through consistent exercise routines designed by orthopedic surgeons specializing in foot disorders.

Ways you can aid in promoting this self-strengthening process

You don't need expensive custom-designed arch supports or other orthotic devices all the time; instead, focus on home remedies that improve gait and strengthen your own natural arches. Several exercises aimed at improving flexibility while reducing discomfort associated with flexible flatfoot conditions.

  • Gentle stretching exercises targeting calf muscles could help relieve tension from tightened tendons contributing towards flattening the foot's structure. This might also reduce the dull pain commonly experienced by those suffering from this condition.

  • Focused strengthening exercises involving small movements specifically targeted at intrinsic muscles located within our feet can be beneficial too.

  • Barefoot walking (where appropriate) may encourage more active engagement of smaller stabilizing muscle groups often overlooked when wearing shoes providing artificial support.

  • Avoid footwear displaying excessive wear patterns along inner edges since they might exacerbate existing conditions leading towards further collapse into fallen arched posture."

Lastly, remember not every case requires surgical intervention - nonsurgical treatments including physical therapy sessions guided by professionals who provide detailed images showing correct postures & techniques could prove just as effective if followed consistently under professional guidance.

Bunions and Flat Feet

Bunions and flat feet can be connected, as both conditions can contribute to improper foot alignment and increased pressure on the big toe joint. Flat feet, where the arches of the feet are lower or non-existent, may lead to overpronation, which can exacerbate bunion formation or discomfort.

Managing bunions without surgery involves natural approaches that focus on symptom relief and preventing further progression. Wearing supportive footwear with enough toe space and using orthotic inserts can help improve foot alignment and alleviate discomfort. Strengthening and stretching exercises for the feet and toes may also aid in maintaining flexibility and reducing pressure on the affected area.

For those with flat feet, orthotic shoe inserts designed to support the arches can help distribute weight more evenly and lessen the strain on the bunion. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding high-impact activities that stress the feet can be beneficial.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, to determine the best approach for managing bunions and flat feet. They can provide personalized advice on appropriate exercises, footwear, and lifestyle adjustments to address these conditions effectively and potentially reduce the need for surgery.


Understanding flat feet and their underlying causes is the first step to relief. Manganese or vitamin D deficiency at birth could be key factors causing this condition. Arch supports may not always be beneficial, they might even hinder natural foot strengthening over time.

Stretching exercises targeting specific areas can provide significant relief from discomfort caused by flat feet. A regular foot massage regime also plays a crucial role in alleviating symptoms associated with having flat feet. The ultimate goal should be to strengthen your own natural arches rather than relying heavily on artificial support systems such as inserts.

If you're ready to take control of your health and explore more about Flat Feet Relief Techniques, consider visiting Dr. Berg's website where you'll find an array of resources dedicated to promoting better health through nutrition, keto diet, intermittent fasting, and much more! Dr.Berg, helping you live pain-free!

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