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Perfect feet are actually hard to find as research has shown that fewer than 10 per cent of people across the world have normal feet. This is often referred to as having neutral feet, which means they don’t require any type of support or special care to handle the person’s body weight. For the other 90 per cent or so of the population, they may require orthotics to help maintain the shape of their feet.
Orthotics basically are inserts which are designed to fit inside of a person’s footwear as a way to support the natural structure of the feet. Since the feet support the rest of the body you may run into problems if they’re not straight or are slightly tilted. However, just because your feet aren’t perfect it doesn’t necessarily mean you need orthotics.
At Fitphysiotherapy we’ll be able to diagnose your feet and let you know if there are any type of structural problems with them. One of the most common problems is what’s known as pronated feet. This means your feet have falling arches and some people mistakenly refer to it as being flat footed. The feet do flatten out, but only when there’s weight on them. Your feet could appear to be flat if your legs and feet are rotated to the inside as this may cause the arches to collapses. There are several reasons you could suffer from pronated feet including problems with the heels, nerves or muscles. But whatever the reason, the feet appear to be deformed since the foot and ankle suffer a mal-alignment and this could lead to problems with your knees, hips, pelvis and back.
If the joints are suffering from wear and tear then this could lead t long-term damage. A quick way to check if you have pronated feet is to see if you have an arch in the bottom of your foot. If you do, place it on the floor and put all of your body weight onto it. Now check again to see if the foot is flatter or if there’s still an arch. If you can still distinguish an arch then you don’t need to worry about pronated feet. But it doesn’t mean you have perfect feet either. If you don’t see an arch when doing this test then it means it has flattened out and you have pronated feet.
High Arches (pes cavus)
If the middle parts of your feet don’t touch the floor when you place them on the ground then you could have high arches. One way to test this is to walk in snow or on sand or mud and check to see if your foot leaves an entire print or if the middle section of the feet are missing from the footprint.
Having Supinated Feet means you basically walk on the outside of your feet. You can sometimes tell if you suffer from this if the outside soles of your shoes wear out first from the toes to heels. In addition, the heels of the shoes may lean to the outside or be slightly deformed.
Normal or Neutral Feet
If your feet are neutral then they should look the same when they’re on the ground and in the air and your footprints appear to be normal as they show the entire foot.
Do you need orthotics?
If you have any foot pain then you may not need orthotics, but should still have them examined by a health professional. If you feel pain anywhere below the waist though, then you need to visit a professional to have your feet looked at and properly diagnosed. At Fit Physiotherapy of Newmarket, our experienced team of physiotherapists will be able to pinpoint the cause of the pain and help relieve it with the use of custom orthotics.
The proper type of orthotics will help fight off early degeneration of certain joints which can often lead to osteoarthritis. This is because the orthotics are custom designed for the shape of your feet and are inserted into your footwear to help restore the alignment of the feet. Our therapists will also recommend which type of shoes you should be wearing for the specific condition of your feet. Even if you don’t suffer from any foot pain it’s still important that you wear the proper type of footwear for support.
Contact Fit Physiotherapy today
If you’re not certain whether or not you have normal feet or some other type please feel free to visit us at Fit Physiotherapy, especially if you feel any pain. We’ll be able to diagnose your feet and recommend orthotics if needed.