So, I mentioned that my recent toenail issue was due indirectly to collapsed arches. While I knew what a collapsed (or fallen arch) was, I wasn’t really sure about exactly how they “collapsed.” Your arch should normally look like an “arch.” When you have been pregnant, carried a lot of extra weight, are a mason (or anyone else who carries large objects for your job), you can develop arches that drop closer to the ground.
Generally, the arch collapses due to weakness in (or an injury to) the posterior tibial tendon. Collapsed arches can also result in a host of other injuries in your body including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and arthritis. This is why it’s so important to correct the problem before too much damage is done! A visit to the podiatrist for an exam of your foot (and or x-rays) can help determine resulting injury from collapsed arches. They can be treated initially with any of the following (in my case I am going with orthotics):
- rest; cessation of activity that results in pain
- use of custom orthotics
- taking NSAIDs (like ibuprofen)
- use of a walking boot
- losing weight (if excess weight is a factor)
In more extreme cases, surgery may be considered. In this case, joints can be fused, tendons replaced (with another tendon from the foot), or bones can be realigned.
In my case, I am hoping the orthotics will help support my arch and get my feet healthy again. I would prefer not to have to wear them for life. I am also going to use stretching and strengthening exercises for my foot and lower leg muscles. Fingers crossed, I’ll get my feet straightened out soon! 😉