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Flat feet and orthotics

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  • Flat feet and orthotics

    Hey guys, I have a few questions that I have looked for answers to but haven't had luck. Please bear with me as this might be a long post, but I'll start off with some background. When I was younger I was heavily involved in sports(Started when I was about 5). I was always a very light kid growing up and never had problems with my feet. Though I did have a problem caused by my tonsils that made it hard for me to keep my food down and decreased my appetite. I had my tonsils removed when I was around 8 and I began to bulk up very fast and soon became pretty heavy for my age (I wasn't obese or out of shape I had a stocky build). I began to feel pain in my knees and feet while playing sports later on at around 12 years old. I played both football and lacrosse which required me to wear cleats which offered very little arch support. I didn't have a problem sprinting short distances but when it came to endurance running I was in a lot of pain. The pain had become so intense in my feet and knees that I no longer enjoyed playing and quit all sports. I saw an orthopedist around the time I quit which was right around when I was turning 15 and I was told I had a problem with my knees(the cartilage behind my knee caps had not hardened and there was a tendon I believe that was tearing away and irritating my knee cap) and that if I rested and waited a few years it would go away and I would be fine (he also said that this was the root of the problem with my feet because of how I ran). So now present day, I decided that I want to pursue a career in the military and began working out. Well, the pain in my knees and feet was still there. I found a video posted here about stretches for knee pain and after doing that for a few days my knee pain was completely gone, but my feet were still in pain. Anything past .5 miles of running and I get extreme pain in my arches. It is to the point that I begin to limp. I normally would just go through the pain but it is a debilitating injury and there is no way I would be able to run distances needed to join the military. I went to one podiatrist who told me that I needed arch support and he made custom orthodics for me. I didn't see any results with them and I found them difficult to run in due to the thickness of them which caused most of my heel to be out of my shoe. I went to another podiatrist a few days ago and he seemed to diagnose the problem quickly without asking much about any background and his answer was that I had severe flat feet and said "there are just certain feet that are not meant for running, and yours are one of them". He fitted me for an orthodic that would not raise my arches like the other pair, but instead support my feet the way they are. He also told me that even with them, I will have a hard time doing more than 1 or 2 miles. So given my background, is there anyone else who has a similar issue or know if I will ever be able to run long distances. I am currently 6' 240lbs and 17 years old. I also have flexible flat feet which means that I have a good arch while off the ground, but when I put weight down, my arches collapse. Is it possible that I collapsed my arches from the 10 or so years of sports I played and if so is there a possibility of raising my arches again through weight loss, foot strengthening exercises, and orthotics? Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Re: Flat feet and orthotics

    Let's take a look here bro, I'm going to say something, are you serious about this? Now think, I'm not asking about your situation, you posted on the SEALSWCC website, so first thing what do you want to be? You're going to definitely run more than 1-2 miles in SEAL training, definitely in the other SpecWar Divisions. I would say weight loss is a definite yes, I'm about 6' also but weigh 175lbs of muscle with maybe 9-10% body fat. I would start swimming a lot, and hitting the elliptical. Do not run at all until you're at a good weight, it's going to be tough dude. You're going to feel like you're not making any progress sometimes, keep doing it. Look into your diet, sleep habit, get a routine. Honestly you start swimming and going on the elliptical and get that cardio rolling and you count those calories, you'll have no problem shedding the weight man. Tell your parents this is what you want to do, it's none of my business about your family situation, but if they're supportive, talk to them about your goals.

    Here are some places to start:

    Don't use supplements. This stuff helped me understand what was needed for my body, I've had it bookmarked for a long time. The best way to shed fat is your diet, then cardio. You'll get there man.


    • #3
      Re: Flat feet and orthotics

      Where are you located? What is going on with your feet is definitely a common issue, and a real point of contention right now in both the running and sports medicine world... What shoe do they have you running in currently? When is your pain the worst, during running, after, or first thing in the morning? You can shoot me a Pm if need be...


      • #4
        Re: Flat feet and orthotics

        Becoming a SEAL is definitley a dream of mine but I'm aware of where I am at physically. I recently started a strict diet and I'm following the PT guide just instead of running/swimming I am using an elliptical and doing negatives for pullups. I put on some weight since I stopped playing sports and the reason I am asking is because it would be extremely helpful to have a sort of light at the end of the tunnel. It's so hard trying to stick to a diet and workout plan with the lingering thought that no matter how hard I work, I might still not be able to make it due to a problem out of my control. Thanks for the response/support and the links, I'll definitley read them over.

        Thanks for the response mcass. I live in New York. The latest podiatrist recommended a good, light running shoe. I feel the pain slightly when standing for an extended period in sneakers and the pain is at its worse when running on hard surfaces. The reason I'm asking this question is because it seemed that my condition was largely up to interpretation. This doctor recommended subtle orthotics and light shoes and told me that I will probably never be able to do long distance running. The other doctor gave me these huge orthotics with an arch in them and wanted me to buy these big clunky motion control shoes. Thanks for the help, I really want to fix this problem more than anything.