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What Are The Differences Between Flat Feet & Fallen Arches?

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The arch of your foot is going to be an important component to keeping your feet as happy and healthy as possible. When the arch is in good working order, you will find that it can carry you through life and provide you with some of the support that your body needs.

When the arch wears down, there can be a number of problems with your lower body. Many people will suffer from conditions like flat feet and fallen arches.

At first glance, both of these can seem like the same condition, but a closer look shows us there are a few key differences. Let’s take a closer look at flat feet vs. fallen arches to see how they are the same and how they are different.

Flat Feet Vs. Fallen Arches: Let’s Compare

Fallen arches and flat feet are very similar when it comes to their condition. There is a slight difference between the two that can be important to note.

First, we can look at fallen arches. This is just when the arch has gone down a bit from normal. The arch may not be all the way to the floor at this point, but it is more pronounced than you should see.

On the other hand, flat feet will be when the arch has completely collapsed and is not touching the floor. This is most common when you are standing and putting pressure on the foot, though some people have flat feet, even when they are sitting.

Both conditions mean that the arch will need some extra support because it is not working the way that it should and supporting the foot. But many patients have it and notice no symptoms for the condition at all. It is a good idea to look into some of the different treatments for flat feet and fallen arches as soon as you notice them to avoid more problems later.

Symptoms of Flat Feet and Fallen Arches?

Since both of these are going to be related to the arches in your feet, they will have some similar symptoms that you will need to look for. Keep in mind that many patients will have one of these conditions or the other and experience no kind of pain or discomfort at all. If this is the case for you, then you shouldn’t have to worry about treatment at all.

However, if you do have some symptoms of fallen arches or flat feet, then you will need to take precautions because it can be painful. Most people with this condition will start to notice there is some pain in their feet and lower body. This happens because the ligaments and muscles of the foot are feeling pulled and strained.

Depending on the severity of the problem, you could be putting too much pressure on the hip and knee, which can make these joints more painful. These stresses will cause the ankle to move inward, which can cause more issues with alignment in the body.

The lower body may have pain, stiffness, and swelling as well. These are often found in different parts of the body like the lower legs, lower back, hip, knee, calf, arch of the foot, and ankle. Having this condition can also cause you to distribute the body weight improperly as you walk, which can mean your shoes will start to wear down.

Ignoring this problem, especially when you start to notice some of the pain and discomfort, will make it worse. You may find that it can slow you down when walking or running and it may get bad enough to make it hard to avoid injuries overall too.

Flat Feet And Fallen Arches

What Can Cause Flat Feet and Fallen Arches?

There are a few risk factors that you can consider looking out for when it comes to developing flat feet or fallen arches. Common risks can include pregnancy, obesity, and trauma to the feet. If you have others in your family who have suffered from the condition, then you are more likely to have it as well.

Many patients will develop this condition because there is something wrong with the tendons of the feet. And being young or elderly can increase your chances of the condition as well.

There are also a number of things that can cause the issue with fallen arches or flat feet as well. Some of these include:

  • An injury that happens to the ankle or the foot
  • Some genetic factors, such as parents who had flat feet too
  • Weak arches that are not able to support themselves that well
  • Stress on the arches due to the extra weight you carry around
  • Arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Damage to the tendon on the foot
  • Tarsal coalition can cause the bones of the foot to fuse together in an unusual way
  • Being on your feet all day long.

If you have some of these risk factors, it is a good idea to be careful with your feet and give them some of the rest that they deserve. This will make it easier for them to rest and heal and can prevent some of the issues above, along with the pain and discomfort.

Treatment Options for Fallen Arches or Flat Feet

There are a few treatment options that you can choose to help take care of your foot and make sure that it will stay healthy and not get worse later on. Some of the different treatments that you can choose include:

  • Pick out a good pair of shoes: This is a good place to splurge and make sure that you are prepared for moving around and walking all the time. Do not go for something inexpensive that does not provide the right support.

  • Rest: You may need to put your feet up occasionally to make sure that they have plenty of time to recharge and aren’t being overworked either.

  • Good pair of orthotics: You can choose insoles or custom orthotics depending on the foot and how much pain it is in. You can talk to your doctor to find the right solution.

  • Ice and painkillers: if the pain is getting too intense, then it may be a good idea for you to consider ice and painkillers to keep the foot happy and avoid too much pressure that will make it worse.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Flat feet and fallen arches are terms often used interchangeably, but there are subtle distinctions. Flat feet describe a foot with a low or absent arch from birth, while fallen arches develop over time due to weakened ligaments or tendons. Regardless of the cause, both conditions can lead to pain, discomfort, and gait issues.

Here's where Bilt Labs custom orthotics come in. Unlike generic insoles that offer a "one-size-fits-all" approach, Bilt Labs takes a personalized route. Through a moldable impression kit, they capture the exact shape and pressure points of your feet. This meticulous process ensures targeted support that addresses your specific needs, whether you have persistently flat feet or arches that have gradually fallen.

Addressing Flat Feet:

For flat feet, Bilt Labs orthotics incorporate built-in arch support specifically designed to gently lift and cradle your arches. This strategic lift helps distribute weight more evenly across your foot, alleviating pain in your heels, ankles, and even knees. Additionally, Bilt Labs orthotics may feature features like deep heel cups to provide extra stability and prevent excessive inward rolling (overpronation) that often accompanies flat feet.

Restoring Fallen Arches:

If your arches have fallen, Bilt Labs orthotics offer targeted support to help restore their natural shape. This can significantly improve biomechanics, promoting proper alignment and a more efficient gait. By addressing the underlying cause of discomfort, Bilt Labs orthotics can help prevent further weakening of the arches and potential future injuries.

The Customization Advantage:

The key difference between Bilt Labs custom orthotics and generic options lies in their ability to adapt to your unique needs. Whether you have persistently flat feet or arches that have fallen over time, Bilt Labs tailors the arch support and other features to provide optimal correction and comfort. This personalized approach ensures you get the targeted support you need to manage pain, improve foot health, and rediscover pain-free movement.

Bilt Labs Custom Orthotics

Taking Care of Your Feet

Whether you are dealing with fallen arches or flat feet, you will find that taking care of the feet and giving them some of the attention they deserve can be critical to providing you with the healthy walking that you deserve. For many patients, this means getting a comfortable and supportive pair of custom orthotics to help protect the feet.

When you are ready to find a good pair of custom orthotics for your feet, trust our team at Bilt Labs to be there to help you. We have worked with patients for years, providing them with some of the best orthotics that they need, all from the comfort of their homes. Trust our team to work with you to provide a fantastic pair of custom orthotics. Take our free quiz today to find out which orthotic type is best for your feet.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions about your health. If you have any questions about your health or are experiencing any medical problems, please contact your doctor or other healthcare provider immediately. Do not delay seeking medical attention based on the information provided in this article.