Fallen Arches Physiotherapy Singapore
From a weight bearing perspective, our feet posture will impact all our joints and muscles within our foot. This means that having poor foot position and posture can and likely will lead to pain in your foot directly, as well as pains in overcompensation by our ankles, shins, knees, hips and even back pains.
Most people are aware of wearing orthotics such as arch supports that is placed within your shoe BUT the annoying part about orthotics is really two fold: you can only use these supports in shoes/footwear which there is limited presentable shoes available.
The bigger problem of having orthotics and support is the idea about it that it by itself helps for the long run, and that is not true. You see, orthotics are basically passive in nature - they passively help your collapsed foot arch INSTEAD of your own foot muscles, and this causes the actual muscles to be used, and becomes weaker. In the long run, your arch muscles becomes weaker and weaker, and you become more and more reliant on your orthotics.
Our human body works predominantly on the foundation of supply and demand - demand on the muscles e.g. during strenous exercises will cause your body to develop and strengthen your muscles. Decrease the demand and the reverse occurs - muscles can weaken and soften.
Don't get me wrong, orthotics are great for interim use, meaning that you use it in conjunction during a specific period of injury or during your rehabilitation, much like how our hand therapists prescribe and create a customized hand splint for your hand to heal during a period of healing between rehabilitation and exercise therapy; likewise, orthotics are meant to be short term use on top of your rehabilitation and exercise therapy.
Over time, this will lead to further weakened foot muscles, further causing more collapsing of arches and/or over-pronation, which can lead to plantar fasciitis, shin splints, heel spurs, and overcompensation can even lead to back pain and neck pains.
Instead, what we'd recommend is a hybrid combination of short and long term management approach. What Urbanrehab physiotherapists will do is to first assess the muscles that control your foot posture, and then prescribe a customized exercise that is geared towards strengthening weakened muscles. This strengthening exercise will increase in resistance according to how your strength develops. Usually, you can regain control of your foot arch muscles within a fairly short period of time.
How long does it take for my fallen arches physiotherapy to take effect?
This depends from individuals to individuals - it's different with everyone as everyone's pre-injury fitness and physiology is different. A fit person with mild weakness usually heals and recovers much faster than someone who is unfit with a moderate to severe weakness. Mild to moderate cases usually resolve within 6 to 8 weeks of exercise and physiotherapy.
Of course, if one has severe foot weakness or injuries, it usually means that you'd also have poor stamina - this means that your recovery is usually much slower too.
Then should I continue to wear my orthotics support?
If you already have orthotics support, please do not throw them away - the main goal of active foot posture correction for fallen arches physiotherapy is to gradually and safely wean you off orthotics and supports. In the beginning, we'll get you to continue using your orthotics and gradually decrease your reliance on them over time.