Another approach to treating flatfoot is with the use of Prolotherapy This strange treatment involves injecting a substance into the foot ligaments which actually causes a localized inflammation. The resulting inflammation activates the body's natural healing mechanisms, creating new collagen. As the collagen matures, it shrinks-and the ligament that was injected becomes stronger-thus reducing pain and tendon weakness. The arch of the foot is formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones and strengthened by ligaments and tendons. It allows the foot to support the weight of the body in the erect posture with the least weight. Standing in one spot is far more tiring than walking because the demands are being made on the same few muscles for a longer length of time. Foot ailments can become your first sign of more serious medical problems. Your feet mirror your general health, so conditions like arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in your feet. About 5% of the US population has corns or calluses annually. They may be more unlikely to receive treatment and more prone to carry on having troubles without treatment. Plantar Fasciitis is a very common condition caused by over-pronation. As the feet flatten, the Plantar Fascia (fibrous band of ligaments under the foot) is being overly stretched, leading to inflammation in the heel, where the fascia attach to the heel bone. Plantar Fasciitis causes chronic heel pain and sometimes a heel spur develops (bony growth at the heel bone). Orthotics correct the problem of over-pronation and they re-align the foot and ankle bones to their neutral position, restoring our natural foot function. In turn, this will help alleviate problems not only in the feet, but also in other parts of the body! Do not walk around barefoot. Walking barefoot can not only lead to fallen arches over time, it can also make the bottom of your feet hard and rough. Walking barefoot occasionally is fine but when you constantly walk without anything protecting your feet, it takes some of the moisture out and leads to dry, cracked heels and toes. It is best to always keep something on your feet whether it be shoes, slippers, or socks. I like to wear the fuzzy socks in the winter and ankle socks in the summer. The fuzzy socks not only protect my feet but keep them all warm and toasty in the winter. Before I get carried away on a tangential rant against athletic shoes, I’ll try to stick to the topic at hand. We know that shoes alter the structure and function of the foot. I mean, it sounds like plain common sense, but there’s also some concrete evidence. Back in 1905, an orthopedist named Dr. Philip Hoffman conducted a “Comparative Study of Barefooted and Shoe-Wearing Peoples” (don’t you just love old research?) and published his results in the American Journal of Orthopedic Surgery. He also took a ton of photos. Note the wide toes, and how a straight line can be drawn through the axis. Looks pretty healthy and stable, right?