O.K. - gather round yet again! You ready?
Many, many moons ago I was a navigator in the Navy and we would trade all over the World, which was all very interesting and character building. But it came with a few problems that, as a young fellow, I was unprepared for (like life generally, with all it's attendant vicissitudes as I recall! ).... One was the great difficultly in those far-off primitive times (1960s) of being able to take away on a voyage, suitable footwear for use on the boiling-hot, steel decks in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian and Red Seas. Doing duty on those red-hot decks was a torture anyway but the soles of our shoes would melt and stick to the deck (I jest not). So I thought I was very smart to find a very scarce pair of rope-soled shoes in an Arabic Bazaar for my size ten, clod hoppers and wore those during any day duty on deck for the rest of the LONG voyage (we were often away for many months at a time with no access to the shops you understand). You understand? Well, that solved one problem and created another one! Isn't that often the way!
My legs were killing me and I did not realise for a long time that it was because, having grown up wearing shoes with heels all my life, these rope-soled shoes were having this effect on my legs. I was not an Earth Clinic reader then of course and there were no computers. It took a while to sink in that it was the dam shoes! I did remember that our Family Witch Doctor had accused me of being a bit "flat footed" and cast a spell to make me roll big marbles under the soles of my feet, presumably to improve my arches! He made me walk along a beam to improve my gait also. I thought he was mad but he was probably a genius in disguise. Once I reverted to heeled shoes the problem "went away" in a few days. No medicines taken (or even available! ). The point is that we were living in a self-contained "bubble" on this vessel, so all the other possible factors/variables were controlled for. We led a simple, monastic life where choices in lifestyle on board were restricted. I still took the salt tablets that we were issued with in the tropics and the officers' steward still doled out the daily ration of lime juice in a carafe every day without fail. We drank lots of water (but probably not enough! ).
Of course such an apparently (to a young lad) small change in posture has the potential to throw many parts of our skeleton out of balance with its potential for consequential mischief. If one has one leg longer than the other by MORE than a few millimetres OR one's pelvis is twisted in any way, or you have a mis-alignment of the spine, a top notch Osteopath OR Acupuncturist could do sterling service for you. I prefer them to Chiropractors actually. Muscle and skeletal maladjustment problems are rife out there and people could be suffering for nothing sometimes. " 'Tis a pity to be sure" as the Irishman famously once said. Just remember the well worn adage:-
"Life could be sweet, if you would only take care of your feet! "
Oh, jolly well done if you have managed to stick with me this far.
First Aid Tape
Fallen Arches: Take some strong first aid tape and tape your arches tightly. Do not tape your whole foot, just the arches. This works better than any inserts you can buy.
Flat feet, plantar fascitis, hundreds of different shoes, thousands spent on dr's and inserts...nothing helped. I've lifed with this for years. It got so bad at one point stepping on the ground gave me pain. Until I met a pedorathist, forgive the spelling, who taught me to also sit and lift my legs to 90 degrees and stretch out my hamstring. I never could reach my toes even as a child--I've always had flat feet too. Can't wear flats and restricted shoe wear. My feet get tired after awhile. Even running shoes can hurt.
But over a period of months, continued stretching by sitting and touching my toes and flexing my toes as well as standing and touching my toes now, my feet are so much better. I can wear a pair of flat shoes, but not all day. I'll likely never be able to wear flats all day but that's ok. Tee pain is gone, and I've never been able to wear them before so I'm happy.
Yoga helps to strengthen one's feet too. But stretching your hamstrings thus far are the best thing that has helped me.
If you live near the beach walking in sand bare feet helps to stretch that arch out too. According to the man who helped me you can develop an arch, unlikely a high one but you can strengthen thos muscles.
Hi there. I have a question about whether one can do anything to gain an arch if they never had one in the first place. I have never had arches; have always had flat feet. It impacts what kinds of shoes I can wear (can't wear flats because of discomfort and bad fit) and I would love to find out how to get some kinn of arch it at all possible.. I have not tried the 2x4 or 4x4 remedy suggested because I wonder if I can ever get arches if I've never had them in the first place. Does anybody have any information about this or ideas I can try? Thanks.
I also have family members with no arches...wrapping with the tape as suggested at the top of the page helps, but also when sitting and watching tv or typing stretch your feet forward... with legs stretched out and heels resting on a coffee table or foot rest, point your toes forward as far as you can for a minute or two, then pull them back as if pointing toward yourself for 30 seconds or so...keep doing this on and off everyday...it has helped strengthened some in my family (who've tried it) I hope it helps strengthen yours:)
Hi Phil, I have had this. My BEST treatment is foot insoles from Barefootscience. This is not a 'cast for your foot' it is to build up the muscles so your foot functions properly and heals the stress/strain/pull/swelling and pain in your feet. I purchased about 3 years ago, my feet felt like my heals were being pushed through the ground and my toes would cease up in pain after being on my feet for 1/2 hour or so and arche cramps to cry about. I rarely have foot pain anymore and my shoes are so much more comfortable( I move them from shoe to shoe). I also recently purchased a 'toe separator' looks like rubber brass knuckles, found in foot care section at department store, it widens out your toes to a natural position. Our shoes squish our feet and this helps take away that stress, you put them on and lift your feet and relax for 15 minutes or more(great to do when watching TV) and I've noticed relief all the way to up my neck. Hope this helps you.
First Aid Tape
I am sure she means wrapping the tape around and around the foot just in the arch area.
The best way to get the arches in your feet back is to exercise them. All you have to do is get yourself a piece of a 2 X 4 or 4 X 4 lie it on the floor and place your toes on the board, then push yourself to your tip toes raising your heels off the floor (hold for 3-5 seconds) and repeat for 10 reps for 3 sets. It will take a little bit of time but it works.
I'm not sure flat feet didn't add to my fibromyalgia. Walking on them for 45 yrs twisted my spine, scoliosis, kyphosis and now 3 bulging discs. That's at least 1 layer of pain that I have to take morphine for. Orthotics help. I even have to wear a spongy pair in the shower. Yoga helps - at least with the ham strings. Spine is so twisted it is now stage 4 calcified. Flat feets affects the rest of your posture. Do attend to them.
First Aid Tape
Hello, this sounds like really good advice, although I'm new to this and couldn't figure out exactly what you mean, if you have a moment could you explain a bit more how you do it? Thank you! Warmly, Lindsay, London
Could you guys, please start a section on fallen arches or flat feet? My feet hurt all the time, when standing on concrete. Not so much, if I am on wood floors or the natural earth. Walking does NOT make my feet hurt either. It just seems to be the concrete and standing for long periods of time. I have tried alot of stuff, with varied results and would appreciate any remedies others have tried with sucess. Thank you.
Hi thank you so much for this info! Would you mind posting the Doctors email or contact information? Thanks