Halloween is only a few days away — do you have plans? If you’re a parent, you might be taking a group of boys and ghouls trick-or-treating around your neighborhood. If you live in a popular trick-or-treating neighborhood, you might dress up and hand out candy to trick-or-treaters when they knock on your door. The weekend before Halloween is also popular for Halloween carnivals and haunted houses, so there are lots of opportunities to get out and have fun!
However, if you suffer from chronic pain in your feet and legs, the idea of taking your kids trick-or-treating or walking through a haunted house might not sound so appealing. If every time your doorbell rings, you would rather stay on the couch watching a monster movie than get up to open the door, hand out candy, and admire the costumes of the neighborhood kids, it might be time to try to figure out why it hurts to be on your feet for too long.
Two possible causes of chronic foot and leg pain include high arches and flat feet. Read on to learn more about these two conditions and what you can do to resolve them so that you can start enjoying Halloween activities — not to mention daily tasks that involve standing and walking — without having to deal with chronic pain.
Understanding High Arch
High arch, also known as pes cavus or cavus foot, is a condition in which your arch is raised more than normal. Because of the nature of the condition, there is a disproportionate amount of weight on the back of your foot and the balls of your foot, so you can end up with severe pain when walking, standing, and running. If you have recently developed the condition, you might also notice that the length of your foot is shorter than it used to be or you have a hard time fitting into shoes that once fit you. Because high arches can lead to foot instability, you might also be more likely to sprain your ankle.
The two most common causes of high arch are structural abnormalities and neurological conditions. Some people are simply born with high arches, so the condition can even affect kids. Others develop high arches after having a stroke. High arches are also associated with neurological disorders like muscular dystrophy and spina bifida.
Understanding Flat Feet
From a structural perspective, flat feet are the opposite of high arches. People with flat feet have very little curve in the arch of ther foot, which is why the condition is sometimes referred to as “fallen arches.” Flat feet are a lot more common than high arches, but for some people, they can be just as painful. In most cases the pain is localized to the arch and heels, but it can also radiate up your legs and into your back. If you have flat feet, you might also notice swelling in the bottom of your feet or even in your ankle area. This inflammation can make it hard to move your feet or stand on tiptoe.
Flat feet can affect people of all ages, including kids, so if your little ghost or princess has too much foot pain to walk around the neighborhood — even to collect candy — you might want to look into the problem. Normally, infants and toddlers are born with flat feet, and the arch develops during childhood. Problems with normal arch development can lead to foot and leg pain for older children and adolescents. Childhood obesity can also make it harder for the arch to develop normally, and it can also cause the arch to fall after development.
Still, flat foot is most common among adults. As your Halloween memories increase, so does your risk of developing flat feet. The wear and tear of years of trick-or-treating (and other walking and standing activities) can eventually take a toll on your arches and cause them to fall. As mentioned before, obesity is also a risk factor, and rheumatoid arthritis is another possible contributor. You might also end up with flat feet due to structural issues caused by acute injuries to the foot or ankle.
How to Save Halloween: Consider Custom Orthotics
The bottom line is that Halloween is a lot less fun if it hurts to stand up and walk around. If you’re looking to go trick-or-treating and stroll through haunted houses pain-free this year — and for years to come — you might want to consider custom orthotics. These shoe inserts can help correct both high arches and flat feet, so you will no longer fear the prospect of a long day or night on your feet. This Halloween, you won’t have to miss out on any of the fun!
Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness offers custom orthotics and other wellness services so that you can maintain your health and make the most of every holiday. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!