Flat feet and shin pain.

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Italteen3, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Italteen3

    Italteen3 Formula 3

    Oct 14, 2005
    New York
    Full Name:
    As the title says I am unfortunately flat-footed and it sucks. In 10th grade, about 7 years ago, I had stress fractures in both my shins in the middle of football season my doctor said was because I was flat-footed. I was instructed no more running/sports for 2-3 months. It was never really an issue for me until now where I want to get a six-pack and my current gym has NO spin-bikes what so ever and most importantly I want to get onto the police force and I need to run a mile and a half in 12 minutes or less. At the moment I've tried running mile-mile and a half and I can do it but once I go past the first mile my shins feel like they are on FIRE. I know I can train myself endurance wise to drop the time down but what can I do for my feet so that my shins dont feel like they are going to shatter and explode everytime I run?

    I've heard of inserts for shoes to help give your foot an arch, anyone ever use them?

    Any help would be appreciated thank you.
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  3. nerd

    nerd F1 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2003
    Southwest Airlines
    Full Name:
    A few suggestions:

    1. Some running stores offer free video evaluation while you run on a treadmill. This can be invaluable to choosing the proper shoe.

    2. If you have a very low arch, you need shoes called "motion control" and here are some examples:

    3. Shin pain and injury might simply be a conditioning issue; trying to do too much to soon.

    4. Get the best professional advice you can find or afford; Sports Medicine Physician, Orthopedic Physician and/or a skilled trainer.
  4. Zack

    Zack Formula 3

    Dec 18, 2003
    Nicosia, Cyprus/Cali
    Full Name:
    Try running barefoot. It will force your feet to arch, and people who have done it have ended up developing enough of an arch to end up dropping down a shoe size or two. Arch supports might help with pain alleviation, but in the long run, they are bad for you because
    1. they cause your arch musculature to atrophy due to disuse, and
    2. supporting an arch from underneath weakens it, whereas putting pressure on it from the top strengthens it.

    You will get blisters, unless you do it on grass, and then you sometimes can't see what you are stepping on.

    After a month of running barefoot every other day (on asphalt--I am hardcore, but the blistering was painful) I now have the calluses to be able to run 2 miles on asphalt, 3 on the treadmill. It has completely changed the way I walk and run and my calves are much stronger. I have read that it is very good for flat-footed people to run and walk barefoot so I am not just saying it because it worked for me. For your specific condition, I have read that it is a very good remedy, and it makes sense logically too, when you think about arches and how we use them in life (to support weights on top, pushing down, not to straddling or sitting on top of something).

    If you try it, give it a good two months.

    As for the shin splints, when I started running, it hurt for a good month, then the pain started dissipating gradually. So, partly, it is just a matter of conditioning your body. Learn some stretches for the anterior tibialis, and use hot soaks and massage and Chinese medicine balls and see if you can get the pain to decrease over a few weeks while imposing the same load, ie. running the same distance at the same pace.

    Best of luck, and do keep us posted. I would like to know if barefoot running helps you, and if your shin splints subside after some time.
  5. PT 328

    PT 328 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 1, 2005
  6. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    1. Change gyms.

    I've never belonged to a gym that didn't have multiples of ellipticals, stair climbers, life cycles and treadmills.

    I don't know the solution to your arch problem, but all of the above are low impact and could help you condition without damaging your shins.
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  8. JAM1

    JAM1 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Oct 22, 2004
    FL, NY, and MA
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    Are you stretching? I've got flat feet and used to have painful shin splints in high school, and our track coach taught the few of us that did (and chose to run track anyhow) some stretches to help... and it does!
  9. Qksilver

    Qksilver F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2005
    Full Name:
    My dad is a foot and ankle surgeon, and here's his advice to those with flat feet:


    I have flat feet as well, and orthodics are the only devices that ever did anything for me. For the $400 they cost, they are not a sales instrument, they're doing much more than you think. When a podiatrist makes orthodics for you, he has a lab alter a mold of your foot to create an insert that not only gives you an arch, but also an ideal gate-- which helps your posture and knee/hip joints.

    I'd listen to him, given his credentials. Hope that helps.

  10. Evolved

    Evolved F1 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
  11. PT 328

    PT 328 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 1, 2005
    I agree with this 100%. I used to make custom orthotics when I was practicing physical therapy. One thing that is EXTREMELY important when having custom orthotics made is to make sure the casting is being done when you are not weight bearing. It can be done in weight bearing but keeping a subtalar neutral position is very difficult.

    One bit of advice is do not buy "custom" orthotics from Good Feet. It is a rip off and they are not custom orthotics. The only custom orthotics are cast molded.

    If you are going to buy an over the counter orthotic I have found Superfeet to be pretty good.
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