Friday, December 10, 2010

"Flat Feet Versus Fallen Arches"

I think "collapsed arches" is a better, more descriptive term, but other than this I agree with almost everything in this post.

"So, can walking and running barefoot fix a flat foot? No. But can it fix a fallen arch? Almost assuredly. Will it raise the arch? Maybe.

"Obviously, as any physical therapist can tell you, using a previously inactive body part will strengthen it. It will not only strengthen that part, but all the other parts associated with it. Muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons will all respond to the greater use. I can see how it would be possible that toning all those parts could raise the arch as they are all strengthened. Obviously, there is some anecdotal evidence that this is so, but I’ve not seen studies that demonstrate it.

"However, as the Hoffman study shows, who cares? It doesn’t matter! It’s not the height of the arch that matters, it is the underlying physiological structure, and you get that from going barefoot whether your arch rises or not."
There is one study: it's Dr. Munson's, and the link is under "Links" on the right.