Flat feet is a condition in which the arch of your foot gets affected. The arch is reduced or diminished because a variety of muscles, tendons and ligaments do not act like they are supposed to do. This can be extremely painful and it has repercussions on the entire leg and in some people, the pain can even be felt in the hip.
As can be imagined, any individual who suffers from flat feet is usually desperate for a solution to their predicament.
The treatment of flat foot however has seen a lot of debate. While most people agree on the exercises, you will find that most people disagree about the footwear that a person should use. One trend of thought states that the arch of the foot is supported by the tendons and muscles. Since these tendons and muscles have got weak, they need to be supported by proper arch support. This arch support is available in different types of footwear that are made especially for those people who have flat feet.
The other side of the argument is completely different. It relies on the theory that all weak muscles and tendons need to be strengthened. That is the only way in which you can start to fix the problem. It says that the arch support helps the arch to become progressively weaker and hence it should not be used. Running barefoot however helps to counter this problem. It helps to strengthen the tendons and muscles by slowly increasing the amount of work that they need to do. That is why, most people suggest gradually increasing the amount of time that you have to run.
Adjusting to barefoot running however isn’t easy. It takes time and effort. Most people have to learn to cope with initial pain before they can get comfortable running without their shoes. This takes patience and determination. Once the initial phase is over, running becomes easier and easier. This is an indication that the barefoot running is helping the condition improve!
What most people do not realize is that the process is a slow one. You cannot start running one day and expect to be perfectly okay on the next. It takes time to strengthen the muscles and tendons. It also takes a lot of effort. Barefoot running needs to be started out slowly. Start out for a few minutes at first. As you get comfortable, you can slowly start upping your game.
While the argument between the conflicting modes of treatment continues, it maybe wise to see what works with you. Most people find that a compromise is the best solution. So how can you compromise when you have two conflicting ideas at hand? It is in fact very simple. Use shoes that have an arch support during your entire day (You aren’t going to be running all the time). Allocate a few minutes everyday that are dedicated to running barefoot. In this way, you will find that you can work on strengthening your muscles and tendons while simultaneously providing the arch with the support that it needs!