In any type of sport or active game, most of the power you generate comes from your feet. So when a structural problem like flat feet exists, it requires you to be proactive on and off the field or court in order to reduce your sports injury risk and perform at a high level.
For athletes, flat feet can pose some significant risks. The lack of an arch increases the stress on feet. Instability also increases, and the foot is often not as effective in evenly distributing weight during movement.
A flat foot problem is generally inherited, although it can also develop after a traumatic injury. Illness or aging that loosens the tendons in your foot over time can also be a factor.
One common issue is that flat feet tend to overpronate. Pronation is a natural rolling inward of the foot while standing, walking or running.
With flat arches, the foot tends to roll inward farther than normal. This increases the amount of pressure and strain on the inside of the foot and ankle joint. The unnatural angle at which the foot strikes the ground can lead to quicker fatigue, muscle spasms, plantar fasciitis, and pain in the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
Many sports require great balance, speed, and an ability to quickly change directions. Due to the change in foot mechanics with the lack of an arch, it is key to maintain your foot health to stay on par with your performance.
Your shoe choice will be very important. Look for those with extra stability, motion control, and arch support. A thorough evaluation of your foot structure and
Athletes with flat feet often benefit from custom orthotic inserts inside athletic footwear for extra support and stability. If your feet are painful, several additional conservative treatment options are available.
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