The Plantar Fascia acts as a 'bowstring' connecting the ball of the foot to the heel. It forms the longitudinal arch of the foot and helps to lift the heel off the ground to prepare the foot for the 'take-off' (propulsive) phase of the gait cycle. During walking, at the moment the heel begins to lift off the ground, the Plantar Fascia endures tension that is around twice our body weight. The Plantar Fascia also act as a natural shock-absorber during walking and running. However, long term, effective treatment of Plantar Fasciitis consists of a simple program of daily stretching exercises, combined with wearing an orthotic to support the arches. A night splint holds the foot at 90 degrees during your sleep. The aim of the splints is to keep your foot and calf muscles stretched during the night. Normally during rest the plantar fascia and calves tend to tighten and shorten. So when you wake up in the morning and take your first steps, the fascia are being pulled all of a sudden, causing the sharp pain in the heel. People with flat feet tend to pronate or roll their feet inwards when they walk. This causes the leg to rotate inwards. With internal rotation, there is stress on the hips that results in hip pain. You may perform stretching exercises to help relax your foot muscles or apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, but these remedies may not provide lasting relief if the real problem of wearing the wrong footwear is not part of the solution. Similarly, intense physical therapy or chiropractic treatment may not leave you with best outcome if you continue to wear uncomfortable shoes. Professional guidance can help to take good care of your feet as well as selcecting the proper shoes made to support them. Adults can develop a flat foot when they are 60 - 70 years old. This type of flat foot is usually on one side. Symptoms Rigid or painful flat feet need to be checked by a health care provider. The treatment depends on the cause of the flat feet. For tarsal coalition, treatment starts with rest and possibly a cast. Surgery may be needed if pain does not improve. Some causes of painful flat feet can be treated without surgery. If other treatments do not work, surgery may be needed to relieve pain in some cases. These supports and insoles are available in a variety of forms and sizes; depend on the type of your footwear. Below are some types of arch supports that are used hugely by flat footed people. Persons with pain caused by flat feet, heel spurs, or who need plantar fasciitis treatment can get relief by using orthotics in their shoes. They give the needed support to stabilize the areas in the arch that have been weakened. They also give cushioning in areas where too much pressure in the ball of the foot and heel. Orthotics are available in an array of sizes and types and are made to keep up with anyones activity level. Flat feet (pes planus) refers to a change in foot shape in which the foot does not have a normal arch when standing. Alternative Names The keywords in choosing the right shoes are stability, motion control, and support. Stability identifies which pair of shoes works for relieving over pronation; motion control on the other hand, focuses on enhancing stability and support. Support is the most important factor in holding the arch to relieve pain. Infants and young children naturally have flat feet. The arch should develop over time. Sometimes, the arch does not develop. It is not always clear why this happens. It may be associated with Physical therapy may relieve discomfort. You may be given a specific stretching and strength program. You may also have treatment to help manage the discomfort. Some patients with flat feet may automatically align their limbs in such a way that unpleasant symptoms never develop. In such cases treatment is not usually required. Pain in the foot that is caused by flat feet may be alleviated if the patient wears supportive well-fitted shoes. Some patients say that symptoms improve with extra-wide fitting shoes. Fitted insoles or orthotics (custom-designed arch supports) may relieve pressure from the arch and reduce pain if the patient's feet roll or over-pronate. The benefits of an orthotic only exist while it is being worn. Your foot arch is your natural shock absorption system. Nature designed it so that when you put your body weight over your feet the shock is absorbed by this mechanism in order to alleviate the impact (and subsequent injuries) that would otherwise hit your feet, ankles, knees and hips. A flat foot is the most visible sign of overpronation, meaning that your arch collapses during the impact on the ground. As a consequence, your ankle twists inward and your knees overcompensates. Flat feet are a particular concern for runners, as during the running gait the arch is supposed to support on average 3 times their body weight. Symptoms - Pain that feels like a stone bruise. Swelling, tingling, and burning in the ball of the foot. Neuroma is a nerve inflammation that is a result of the fallen metatarsal arch. Cause - Pain is caused by collapsing of the metatarsal arch. A callus will often develop beneath the collapsed metatarsal. Runners with high arches are susceptible. You are not alone with your foot problem. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons report that 5 percent of US adults have painful flatfeet and fallen arches Your doctor may be able to diagnose your fallen arches just by looking at them. The main technology found in Stability shoes is a medial post of dual density foam Footwear producers inject a harder compound of foam right below the medial side of the arch and sometimes extended all the way to the heel. It is easily recognizable as a darker (almost always gray) piece of foam on the inside of the midsole (view picture). Pick up a ping-pong ball with your toes A simple exercise anybody can do at any time, even while watching tv. Recommended by many podiatrists, this exercise will give you incredible results in the long run.