- Collapse of the medial long arch of the foot with loading
- Mid foot instability can lead to rolling in during gait (overpronation)
- Can be congenital where some people inherit fallen aches from their parents/grandparents or can also be caused by excess body weight and improper footwear selection.
- The hormones released and weight gained during pregnancy are a common trigger for arch collapse
If left untreated, more serious issues can arise. Fallen arches can aggravate plantar fasciitis and create biomechanical inadequacies that may cause hip/knee/back pain. Bunions can also be a byproduct of excessive pronation.
Fallen arches are a biomechanical issue that can lead to plantar fasciitis – see plantar fasciitis solutions for exercises
Proper footwear selection is very important. Avoid very flexible shoes that can be easily bent and twisted completely in half. Generally shoes with a firm material under the middle of the arch are beneficial. These shoes are often labeled “motion control” or “pronation control”. It is common when the arch flattens to see the whole foot to splay out leading to a wider forefoot. With all foot types trying on the shoe in the store and walking is a must.
Custom Foot Orthotic Suggestions
- Rigid functional style device with plastic based on patient activity level and weight (see chart)
- Heel posting to neutral for extra stability
- Rearfoot varus posting can be used when the collapsed arches are caused by a rearfoot varus deformity.
- If condition is caused by a rigid forefoot varus that is not easily reducible wedging should be done under the medial forefoot. This will elevate the ground and restrict whole foot eversion as the great toe makes contact.