Oh, To The Humble Flat Feet!

Posted in General

by admin | Jan 10, 2018

Oh, To The Humble Flat Feet!

Do you have flat feet?

Many of you do and may not know it!

Here is a picture of severe flat feet or pes planus as your doctor would call it.

Go on then, look in the mirror and check it out.

The question is, so what?

It only really matters if you have associated chronic pain in the feet, knees, hips or back.

In my practice treating patients with chronic pain every day, I often see this common foot presentation.

I would like to tell you a SECRET about FLAT FEET.

The standard treatment prescribed by your GP, Podiatrist, or Orthopedist is ORTHOTICS.

In truth, they may help your foot pain and, if the pain subsides, great for you.

A word of caution!

ORTHOTICS could have a long term NEGATIVE effect on the MUSCLES of your feet creating weakness from lack of use.

As they say, “If you snooze, you lose”

Meaning, if you don’t use your muscles of the feet, you will lose the function, strength, and actually cause more pain in the long term.

We don’t recommend corsets and lying in bed with back pain these days because movement is the best remedy for many. Mobilization and activity is the standard current treatment for chronic low back pain and the scientific studies back this up.

Daniel Lieberman, in his brilliant book “The Story of The Human Body”, states that barefoot individuals don’t have flat feet! Huh! That’s a novel observation from our prehistoric ancestors!!   

Maybe it’s the shoes we have all been wearing are the culprit for the FLAT FEET GENERATION.


NOW, if you live is sunny climates and can go barefoot, go for it. I am all for living in synchrony with nature and allowing our biorhythms to synchronise with the great Mother Earth.

BUT if you live nearer the POLES than the EQUATOR, shoes are a must. Better flat feet than chilblains! ….that’s a collapse of the micro-circulation of the toes presenting with tiny toe infarcts (closed off tiny arteries) which may lead onto frostbite if in very cold climates and possibly gangrene with amputation for your tootsies!

The fact is there is a Multimillion Dollar industry in ORTHOTICS and your may not need them.

They are pricey, especially if YOURS TRULY …thats YOU dear blog reader…..are paying out of pocket.

One treatment to consider is to EXERCISE your bare feet 20 mins a day on a soft mat, soft carpet or wear those walking shoes made of soft material with individual toes sections, a bit like a glove for your feet. Or just wear fantastic comfy shoes with lots of space for your toes!

HUH, that’s a novelty , EXERCISE and good shoes can fix pain.

Why not try it?

Dash to the beach or park and get those shoes off. GO BAREFOOT and gel with nature. Give your MOST QUINTESSENTIAL BODY PART A WORK OUT and ENJOY THE RAW EXPERIENCE.

If weather prevents the great outdoor activities for NATURAL FOOT therapy, exercise your feel on a soft mat, join a martial art class, or just walk on soft thick carpet.

So tonight, think about your feet as you jump into bed.

Be grateful you have 2.  

Be grateful you can walk every day without thinking about it.

Be grateful your life depends on these 2 large appendages that have been keeping the human race upright for millions of years!

It’s good to reflect and be thankful.

It’s food for the SOUL or even the SOLE!!

Till the next time.
Dr. Wayne Phimister


The Story of Human Body. Evolution, Health and Disease. Daniel E. Lieberman. 2013. Vintage Books. P31-153.