I had the pleasure of working on a new client the other day. This clients feet were so flat that one of my trainers replied they were the flattest feet they had ever seen.
No arch present at all, navicular and cuneiform bones rolled towards the floor and the ankle sliding off of the Calcaneus of bottom heel bone of the foot.
Technically 3rd degree flat foot. This client had been to many medical professionals and none medical health care associates and everyone had an idea of how to support the foot. No one explained ways to strengthen the muscles that support a healthier arch even when he asked them what he could do. I looked at this client from stem to stern as my system of analysis dictates and found tensions, tightness’s, over stretched muscles and ligaments in many parts of his body. The interesting part was that he has no foot pain, none at all. His areas of pain are knee and sacrum and low back. Again most practitioners want to figure out a way to brace his feet so that it works normally with an orthotic or some other shim or bracing system without looking at his entire body. In short I taught my client 2 exercises that he could use to train posterior tibialis, strengthen the muscles that support his arch and start by walking in a way that made his foot work substantially harder at keeping itself in alignment. He felt an immediate difference in his feet, knee and back. It will take months to get a solid semblance of order in the bones of his feet, but I believe we have started off on the right foot taking the right path. He may need an orthotic at some point as well but for now we will strengthen his feet, add arch support internally by training muscles and gaining awareness. I have been working on people’s gait for nearly 30 years now but an added love to my work was gained through working with Dr. Emily Splichal of Evidence Based Fitness Academy. Dr. Emily is a podiatrist who found that just shimming and cutting up people’s feet was not enough for her. She attained a Masters in Human Performance and took her Podiatry to real life movement. As a final note your feet are where you make direct contact with the world, if they don’t move well, you won’t.