Throughout this series, we have reviewed what a flat foot is, injuries associated with flat feet, and how to neutralize or correct the flat foot. Here, we want to discuss how to enhance performance and efficiency in the pronating athlete. When a person is running, the heel will contact the ground and roll through. The heel largely absorbs shock as it moves the heel outward upon impact. In a flat foot deformity, the heel is already in that kicked out position and does not have the ability to absorb as much shock.
The foot is designed to transfer energy from the heel through the middle part of the foot and then forward, allowing the foot to spring off and transfer more force into the ground. This propels the person forward. One of the problems with the flat foot is that it is too flexible, therefore not transferring the energy efficiently. Hence, energy is lost before it has the chance to transfer from the heel into the middle and front parts of the foot for push off.
The spring ligament runs across the bottom of the foot. Tension and release of this ligament during the running and walking cycle is a large part of what produces propulsion forward. In flat foot deformities, this ligament has lost its tension and this benefit is lost. Bringing the foot to neutral brings tension to this ligament and helps in efficiency and spring in running and walking.
Franco stipulated that an orthotic should help the foot attain a neutral position at the middle of a midstance for unidirectional sports, such as running, and should provide arch control while allowing eversion at the subtalar joint to after forefoot flexibility during sports in which pivoting is involved, or multidirectional forces. (1) The Arches Orthotics provides support for both of these stipulations.
FootScientific created the Arches Orthotics to neutralize the foot: preventing injury, improving performance, and to help athletes, and all individuals, heal faster.
The Type 1 Arches Orthotics corrects the flat foot deformity by bringing the heel into a neutral position with a posting of the heel. The orthotics also provides support and comfort to the arch and entire foot.
This set of orthotics positions the heel to kick out enough to absorb shock, while allowing energy to transfer forward through the heal being in the gate cycle. This will allow the energy to be transferred back into the ground, rather than dissipate. Furthermore, it helps provide appropriate tension to the spring ligament for those with flat foot that results in a more effective launch upon each step.
Neutralizing the Type 1 foot with the Arches Orthotics not only enhances performance, but it prevents injury and heals injuries that have occurred; doing so allows for better performance of athletes.
(1) Franco, A. H. (1987). Pes Cavus and Pes Planus. Physical Therapy, 67(5), 688-694. Accessed August 18, 2016. Retrieved from http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/67/5/688.