¿Se pueden curar los pies planos? ¡Métodos probados para reparar arcos caídos!

por Dr. Sandra Landers, MD, PhD
Publicada: Ultima actualización en 129 Vistas

Los pies planos (pes planus) ocurren cuando la forma del pie no tiene un arco normal. Es más notorio cuando el individuo está de pie con la espalda recta. Según la Biblioteca Nacional de Medicina de EE . UU ., es una condición muy común. Desafortunadamente, es una condición que puede venir con dolor, incomodidad e incluso conducir a otras condiciones del pie. Entonces, ¿se puede curar la condición?

Es posible encontrar alivio de arcos caídos. Hay diferentes maneras de hacerlo. Pero es importante saber más sobre la afección en sí misma antes de sumergirse en las diferentes opciones de tratamiento.

Los pies planos se consideran normales en bebés y niños pequeños. Cuando nace un niño, los tendones y los músculos de los pies están más flojos. A medida que envejecemos, esos tendones se tensan y ganan fuerza. A medida que los músculos se vuelven más fuertes, se forman arcos. Algunas personas no experimentan tanto endurecimiento y fortalecimiento. Por eso, es posible que nunca tengan arcos “normales”.

Si ya tiene arcos formados, varias cosas pueden causar pies planos más adelante en la vida. Cosas como el envejecimiento, las lesiones, el peso o incluso la enfermedad pueden contribuir al debilitamiento de los arcos y hacer que se caigan.

¿Existe una cura para los pies planos?

Most flat feet don’t cause problems. However, for some people, it can lead to foot, ankle, knee, or even hip pain. People who are active or are on their feet often tend to experience more discomfort from fallen arches than others.

If you experience these symptoms regularly and know you have flat feet, it’s likely you’ll want to do something about it. You don’t have to live with discomfort just because of genetics!

This guide will cover several different ways to fight back against any discomfort caused by flat feet. There are a few common methods people use to find help. If you think you can handle the pain or discomfort caused by your fallen arches, however, you should note the other foot conditions that could occur if you don’t strengthen the tendons in your feet.

How Do I Know If I Have Flat Feet?

You might think the pain in your feet comes from being overly-active or standing in one place for too long. These can be contributors, of course, but there are telltale signs of fallen arches you should be aware of.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Pain around the arches and heels of your feet
  • Shoes that don’t fit correctly
  • Difficulty standing on your toes
  • Swollen ankles

If you’re still unsure, perform a flat surface test. Make sure the bottom of your feet are damp and step onto a dry surface. Take a look at the imprint your feet leave behind. Someone with regular arches will leave a space between the ball of their foot and their heel. If you have flat feet, you should be able to see the entire outline of your foot, with most of the space filled in.

What’s the Problem with Fallen Arches?

Is it really necessary to try to ‘treat’ flat feet? We’ve already covered that fallen arches are commonly associated with pain. Not only is it common to experience that pain in your feet, but the ankles, knees, and hips can also be affected.

Flat feet are also associated with several additional foot conditions. Not everyone with fallen arches will experience these, but not strengthening your foot muscles can contribute to them. Some of the most common risks associated with fallen arches include:

Some of the most common risks associated with fallen arches include:

  • Overpronating: Overpronation happens when the foot rolls inward as someone stands. It’s common for people with flat feet. Pronation itself refers to a normal gait of someone standing, walking or running. When you have flat feet, it’s easy to overpronate. Your feet will absorb shock less efficiently, and they can ‘roll’ a little each time you take a step. If you’re really active, this can cause discomfort and become a risk for injury.
  • Achilles tendinitis: The Achilles tendon can become damaged if you’re putting improper pressure on it due to flat feet. This can make something as simple as standing more painful, and can even cause inflammation and swelling around the heel.
  • Shin splints: Typically reserved for runners, shin splints can occur easily in people with fallen arches because the shin bone becomes inflamed. This is due to an improper gait. Shin splints can be incredibly painful, and make it difficult to be very active.
  • Bunions: These are usually associated with improper footwear. However, pes planus is a contributor because it causes your feet to be shaped improperly. When your feet can’t conform correctly to a shoe, bunions and calluses can easily form.

Not everyone with flat feet will experience these conditions, of course. However, weakened arches do increase your chances. By putting so much pressure on your whole foot with no shock absorption, pain and discomfort are just one of the many ‘small’ problem you may have to deal with. If you do start to experience one of the conditions listed above, further treatment may be necessary.

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Is Medical Treatment an Option?

When it comes to flat feet treatment, some people consider having surgery. Flat foot reconstruction surgery is designed to restore the overall function of arches in an individual’s feet. It is typically left for those people who experience a lot of pain due to flat feet.

This type of treatment usually requires the individual to stay overnight in the hospital. It can be a bit invasive for some, as it involves a couple of different steps in ‘fixing’ the problem. There are two major parts to flat foot reconstruction surgery.

These are as follows:

  1. Three separate cuts are made on the foot after a general anesthetic is used to numb the foot. These cuts allow the doctor to remove the damaged, weak tendon that is causing pain. That tendon is then replaced with another one that adds strength and support.
  2. The second part of reconstruction surgery is a procedure called calcaneal osteotomy. This practice involves making another incision in the heel bone and inserting a metal screw. It may sound intense, but the screw is designed to reposition the heel so that it can better support the arch of the foot.

Does it Take a Long Time to Recover?

Like any surgery that requires incisions to be made, recovery can take some time. Because the process deals with the feet, it may take even longer because it requires you to keep weight off your feet for an extended period.

Recovery for this particular surgery will come in stages, and you’ll need to adjust accordingly. Within the first few days after surgery, you’ll probably experience a lot of numbness in the foot. This is intentional and will keep you as pain-free as possible after the intensity of surgery. It’s likely you’ll have to keep your foot in a plastered cast. In some cases, this cast will go up to the knee. Depending on your level of pain or discomfort, your doctor may want to keep you in the hospital for a few days. They may also prescribe painkillers so you can feel more comfortable at home.

During the weeks following surgery, there are things you can do at home to provide yourself with more comfort.

Some helpful tips include:

  • Keeping your feet elevated as much as possible. This will help to keep swelling down.
  • Keep weight off your leg(s). You may be advised to see a rehabilitation expert who can create a personalized program for your healing process.
  • Avoid excessive movement.
  • Don’t take anti-inflammatory medications. This can make a recovery take longer since the bones might not fuse together as quickly.

From a medical standpoint, you will need periodic check-ups after surgery for several weeks. What happens at these follow-up appointments varies on an individual basis. However, you can expect things like X-rays, new castings, and official reviews by your doctor.

Overall, you should be able to wear your own shoes again about twelve weeks after your initial surgery. Leading up to that point, you’ll go from a plaster cast to a boot. You may have to use crutches at some point, and may even be able to wear your own shoes earlier with the help of an insole or brace.

Is Surgery Risky?

Any type of surgery comes with its fair share of risks. Some of the common concerns people face when this type of procedure is performed include:

  • Infection
  • Symptoms continuing even after surgery
  • Nerve damage

These instances are rare but can happen if something goes wrong. The risk factor for this type of surgery is relatively low. However, it can still be considered invasive, and the recovery time is too long for some people to want to deal with. For those reasons, most people with flat feet tend to look for natural solutions.

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Thankfully, there are a few ways to ‘fix’ flat feet on your own at home. These solutions can help to strengthen your arches, alleviate pain, and lower your risk for additional foot conditions.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is another medical option that can be less invasive than surgery. It’s better if you do have at least a little flexibility in your tendons and muscles. Some people with flat feet have very rigid, hard tendons. If you do have a bit of flexibility, physical therapy can be a great rehabilitation option.

When you see a physiotherapist for fallen arches, they will typically give you ideas on certain stretches you can do that will specifically cater to your needs. These stretches are designed to restore the arch of your foot and strengthen your tendons.

In addition to stretching exercises, physiotherapists can also use a special, sturdy tape to ‘create’ a temporary arch in your foot. This isn’t a permanent fix, but if you’re in a lot of pain, it can help to alleviate those symptoms.

Physical therapy can also relieve tenderness and inflammation in your arches with a therapeutic ultrasound. Of course, if you’re seeing a physical therapist in the first place, it’s likely you’re experiencing a lot of pain from your flat feet. Many of the options and solutions provided with physiotherapy are designed to get rid of that pain quickly and effectively. It is still considered a medical treatment, but you can use the lessons learned at home.

Foot Exercises for Fallen Arches

Una de las mejores maneras de luchar contra los efectos del pie plano es realizar ejercicios regularmente . Como cualquier otro tipo de entrenamiento, el objetivo es desarrollar músculo y aumentar la fuerza. Los arcos caídos suelen ser el resultado de tendones y músculos débiles. Al desarrollar esos músculos, puede fortalecer sus arcos y disminuir muchos de los problemas asociados con los pies planos. Echemos un vistazo a algunos ejercicios útiles para el pie plano.

  • Calf raises: The ankles are a larger muscle group around the foot. Making sure they are strong and stable can provide a firm and solid foundation for balance. That’s why calf raises are so effective in strengthening fallen arches. They are easy to do on a set of stairs or even on level ground. If your balance isn’t the best, you may need to hold onto something for support until you get stronger.
  • Towel grab: To complete this exercise, sit in a chair with a small towel in front of you. Grab the towel with your toes, and attempt to lift it off the floor. Repeat the process on the other foot and go back and forth for several repetitions.
  • Elevaciones de arco de pie : este es un ejercicio que debe completarse de pie. Párate sobre una pierna, asegurándote de tener el equilibrio y el control completos. Una vez que lo haga, levante el arco del pie sobre el que está parado. Mantén esta posición durante unos segundos y luego vuelve a bajarla. Esto contraerá los músculos del arco y ayudará a fortalecerlos. Repita el proceso en el otro pie para una repetición y complete varias repeticiones cada día.

Many arch exercises focus on ‘contracting’ your arches, as though they were doing a sit-up or crunch. However, you shouldn’t ignore things like toe yoga (stretching your toes) or massage therapy. Anything you can do to benefit the muscles and tendons in your feet and ankles can help to provide more strength and stability. These exercises, along with stretching are a great way to get rid of flat feet without surgery.

No matter what type of exercises you do pay close attention to how your body responds. These exercises are meant to stretch and strengthen. You should feel the process happening, and may even experience a bit of ‘soreness’ as you would from a solid workout.

However, you should never experience genuine pain from any of the exercises listed here. Don’t push yourself to the point of causing more damage. If you’re unsure which exercises may be best for you, talk to your physical therapist.

Arch Support Insoles for Flat Feet

Another simple solution for dealing with fallen arches is to consider your footwear. If you talk to a podiatrist, they will likely recommend shoes that are flexible and can provide extra cushioning and support. Your footwear should also be firm and stable with a sturdy heel cup. These characteristics will keep your heel aligned in place and will keep your feet and ankles from rolling inward.

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If you don’t want to invest in new footwear, a popular option is to choose insoles specifically designed for people with flat feet. Often, these insoles are marketed toward athletes and runners. However, they can be useful for anyone who has fallen arches and experiences discomfort.

Arch support insoles can help to decrease pain, improve posture, and support your balance.

One of the best insoles for flat feet are the Superfeet Green Heritage Insoles. While they are slightly more expensive than some of their competitors, they provide a lot of support for people with pes planus. They are designed to fit in almost any type of footwear and will last a long time.

When looking for any type of arch support insole, think about the characteristics that will be most important to you. Some insoles are more flexible than others. Some are sturdier. Others features ‘extras’ like odor control, etc. The most important factor to keep in mind is that the insoles should provide enough cushioning to keep any pain or discomfort away, no matter what you’re doing.

Custom Orthotics

If you don’t want to have surgery, but the pain from your flat feet is more than occasional, you may want to talk to a podiatrist about custom orthotics. While they won’t cure the problem, they will help to correct your foot placement and overall gait.

Piense en las plantillas ortopédicas personalizadas como plantillas diseñadas específicamente para usted. Su podiatra tomará medidas de su pie y creará algo destinado a deshacerse personalmente de su malestar. Casi al instante, debería notar una disminución del dolor en los pies, los tobillos, las rodillas y las caderas. En algunos casos, las compañías de seguros pagarán las ortesis personalizadas. Si los pies planos le causan una gran cantidad de incomodidad y puede obtener aparatos ortopédicos a través de su proveedor de seguros, es una excelente opción de “solución rápida”.

corticosteroides

Algunas personas que experimentan mucho dolor con los pies planos optan por las inyecciones de corticosteroides . De hecho, los corticosteroides pueden ayudar cuando se trata de reducir la inflamación. También pueden deshacerse temporalmente del dolor asociado con los arcos caídos.

Sin embargo, estas inyecciones no son una solución permanente. No se consideran una “cura” para los pies planos y no deben usarse como tales. Si bien una inyección de vez en cuando no hará ningún daño, no debe volverse dependiente de ellos para controlar su dolor. Si el dolor y la inflamación persisten, considere buscar una opción más permanente para corregir su pie plano.

Perder peso para arreglar los pies planos

Una razón común por la que las personas experimentan arcos caídos a medida que envejecen es que ponen demasiado peso sobre sus pies. La obesidad y el pie plano suelen estar estrechamente relacionados. Perder peso obviamente tiene muchos beneficios. Cuando se trata de pies planos, bajar el peso reducirá la presión sobre los tendones. También promoverá una mejor circulación en los pies.

Obviamente, hay muchos métodos diferentes para perder peso. Comer una dieta saludable y hacer ejercicio regularmente son excelentes puntos de partida. Es posible que no note una diferencia de inmediato, ya que puede llevar algún tiempo perder una cantidad suficiente de peso. Sin embargo, si continúa, seguramente notará que sus pies, tobillos, rodillas, etc., comenzarán a sentirse mejor y menos dolorosos.

¿Es posible acabar con los pies planos?

Curar los pies planos depende de la causa detrás de ellos. En la mayoría de los casos, puede desarrollar sus arcos y eliminar los síntomas asociados con el pie plano con el tiempo. Sin embargo, si se trata de una afección que está relacionada con la formación de huesos desde la infancia, es posible que se deban tomar medidas más drásticas. Ahí es cuando la cirugía se convierte en una opción viable.

No importa el motivo de sus pies planos, eche un vistazo a las posibilidades que se enumeran en esta guía. Hay varias formas de corregir este problema. Algunas son soluciones a largo plazo, mientras que otras brindan un alivio rápido, pero es posible que no cambien la situación en sí.

La mayoría de las personas con arcos caídos buscan disminuir el dolor, la incomodidad y la inflamación. Todo, desde elegir los ejercicios correctos hasta usar los zapatos o las plantillas adecuadas, puede marcar la diferencia. Si desea cambiar la construcción general de sus pies, contactar a un podólogo es probablemente la mejor opción.

Si ha sufrido síntomas de pie plano durante algún tiempo, use algunos de los consejos útiles que se enumeran aquí para encontrar alivio. No importa si eres un atleta, un corredor ocasional o simplemente alguien que está de pie todo el día. No tienes que vivir con el dolor que a menudo viene con los arcos caídos. Es posible que los pies planos no siempre puedan ‘curarse’, pero puede deshacerse de los aspectos negativos relacionados con ellos.

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