Understanding Flat Feet and High Arches

By: Jagdeep Takhar, Chiropodist, Jan 16, 2020
Podiatrists & Chiropodists, Brampton Foot Clinic and Orthotics, Feet Arches,

The purpose of our feet arches

Understanding Flat Feet And High Arches

The arches of our feet are easy to take for granted until something goes wrong. They are an extremely intricate and integral part of the human anatomy and our ability to walk upright. They absorb the shock of our footfalls and protect other parts of our anatomy from that same shock. They are the human equivalent of your car’s suspension system, absorbing the shock and dispersing it gently throughout the frame of the car.

Most of the time, our arches to their work so well, you’d never realize just how much abuse our feet endure with every step we take. In fact, every time your foot hits the ground, it is sustaining a shock of about 5 g‘s, or five times your body weight. This number shoots up to 9 g‘s when you run. All told, your arches can sustain a cumulative total of 9 million pounds of force over the course of a day.

When something happens to cause your feet to begin failing at their shock absorbing duties, the force of those impacts simply travels up through your shins, knees, and spine instead. This can lead to a number of painful and debilitating conditions.

The two most common causes that impact your foot’s ability to absorb shock are Flat Feet And High Arches.

Flat Feet

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is the result of a malformation of the foot caused by the collapse of the arches in the foot. This puts almost the entire sole of the foot in contact with the ground. This is problematic in some cases because the arch of the foot relies heavily on the springiness and stability offered by the arched shape to absorb shock.

Common symptoms of flat feet include:

  • Foot Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Leg Cramping
  • Back And Leg Pain
  • Swollen Feet

High Arches

High arches are the polar opposite of flat feet. This condition occurs when the arches of the feet are too high and possess an angle that is not suited for proper shock absorption and stability. This can lead to problems maintaining balance, further deformation of the foot, pain, and increased risk of injury from twisted or sprained ankles.

Common symptoms of high arches include:

  • Calluses On The Ball, Heel, Or Side Of The Foot.
  • Hammertoes Or Claw Toes.
  • Pain While Standing Or Walking
  • Instability From Tilting Heel
  • Frequent Spraining

Treatment Options

Not everyone who has high arches or flat feet will require treatment. Whether your feet are flat or high-arched, you will only require treatment if the condition is causing you pain, discomfort, or it is impeding your mobility.

In more serious cases where a person is experiencing the symptoms listed above, it is important to see a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose your problem and form a treatment plan. Depending on the severity of the case, treatment options are likely to include one or more of these measures:

  • Physical Therapy
  • Prescription Of Orthotic Devices
  • Footwear Alteration

Jagdeep completed her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto in Human Anatomy and Biology. She then proceeded to complete a graduate program in chiropody at the Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences.

Jagdeep is a Chiropodist licensed by the College of Chiropodists of Ontario. In addition, she is a member of the Ontario Society of Chiropodists (OSC) and Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine (CFPM). Her participation in these organizations has allowed her to expand her chiropodial/podiatric medicine knowledge through continuing education courses and forming community partnerships with health professionals. 

Jagdeep offers a full range of chiropodial/podiatric treatments with areas of expertise in diabetic foot care, biomechanics including custom foot orthotics, and soft tissue surgery at The Foot Clinic in Brampton, Ontario

You can also visit her website here