If we start from the bottom of the first illustration and work our way up, we can see that a flat foot will cause the tibia and the femur to rotate inward, causing knock knee posture, downward drop of the hip bone, and opposite side bending through the trunk in the attempt to “even out”.
Let us look at these misalignments in terms of muscular imbalances using the second illustration. Let us think of muscles in terms of being either tight and overused or weak and inhibited. In the case of the flat foot, muscles that act to stabilize the ankle and the arch of the foot (tibialis anterior m., tibialis posterior m., etc.) are not doing their job and therefore other muscles (gastrocnemius m., soleus m., etc.) are picking up the slack, becoming tight and overused. This imbalance continues the whole way up the chain affecting muscle groups that stabilize each joint.
Another issue that arises is the mobility in the joints themselves. With different length-tension relationships amongst muscles, smaller joints in the foot as well as in the spine don’t move quite as fluidly, affecting range of motion and walking (gait) patterns.
Regaining proper use of the affected muscles and regaining mobility in stiff joints are ways that an athletic therapist can help fix the cause of the problem.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to speak to one of our Certified Athletic Therapists at Sattva.