Whether caused by a congenital situation disease, obesity or improper foot biomechanics, the foot’s arch is non-existent during weight-bearing when flat-footed. Overstrained muscles and ligaments in the arch area become painful and tired.
Walking and running place unique demands on your foot, no question about it. But your foot is remarkable in its shock-absorbing abilities. Like most of us, your rear foot rolls to the inside when putting your foot down on the surface as you walk or run. As the full impact of your foot strike spreads throughout your foot, your shin rotates internally, taking your foot with it, converting your foot to a shock absorber. The subtalar joint (where the bones on top of your foot join the ankle) converts the vertical force to longitudinal force, spreading the shock through your entire foot. You adjust the torque to the surface on which you’re walking or running and then, continuing your forward motion, instantaneously rotate your foot to the outside. Your foot returns to being rigid to allow you to lift off again. It’s a beautiful, miraculous process. In simpler terms, the arch of your foot is like a spring or a shock absorber. It takes the “hit” from your foot and keeps it from jarring your knee and hip. However, corrective, custom-made orthotics are often needed when the foot is improperly aligned or too hypermobile. The orthotics will allow your foot to continue as an efficient, shock-absorbing mechanism.