How to Properly Fit a Hollow Foot?
A hollow foot is a deformation of the foot, a cushioning defect whose characteristics are multiple and may be moderate, but also become more pronounced over time. The main signs of a hollow foot can be noticed simply by looking at the shape of the foot. In those cases, the arch of the foot is visibly curved or more sunken than normal, the longitudinal arches are higher and/or the hindfoot is off-center.
Causes of a Hollow Foot
The pathology of a hollow foot is due to neurological disorders such as neuropathy, myopathy or cerebral palsy in 75% of cases. In addition to the symptoms of physical deformities of the foot, one can notice a flat foot through any of the following: an imbalance while walking, the deformation and rapid wear of the shoes, fatigue after a short walk, the appearance of calluses, difficulty in finding a suitable shoe as well as localized pain. These symptoms appear because the distribution of ground support is disturbed by the joining of both anterior and posterior plantar supports. This results in a reduction in the possible support surfaces. The main symptom that prompts patients to consult is foot pain, which can occur very quickly, but also be quite severe. It is usually located in the forefoot, secondary heel, outer edge of the foot, instep and toes. Even with those visible signs, the pathology of the hollow foot must be diagnosed after an examination in a podiatric clinic where an X-ray of the foot, a podoscope and a neurological examination will confirm the diagnosis.
Solutions for Comfortable Footwear
Manufactured and prescribed by a podiatrist, a plantar orthosis is an orthopedic device whose purpose is to correct, compensate or even preserve the functions of the foot and lower limbs. In the case of the hollow foot, the role of the plantar orthosis is to reduce the hollow shape of the foot and the areas of hyper-support by increasing the support surface on the ground and by acting on the varus of the back foot, according to the level of the pathology. Wearing plantar orthotics can also prevent the progression of the deformity of the foot and reduce the imbalance of the foot and the ankle, which can cause sprains and even falls during simple daily activities such as a walk.
The Right Kind of Shoes
Choosing the right type of shoes is essential in order to avoid the risk of increased deformity of the feet, but also in order to be able to walk without suffering. A hollow foot therefore involves a wide fit, especially at the toes which must not be compressed so as to avoid any pain, corns or calluses. You should also wear shoes that provide great support to the arch of the foot, a solid rear heel, and provided a little bit propped up in order to keep the rear of the foot and the ankle in place. As for the sole, it is preferably removable so that it can be replaced by a plantar orthosis if necessary.
In case of advanced hollow foot pathology, it is possible to consider wearing custom designed shoes, as their wider than average design of other shoes allows the hollow feet to have enough space to avoid stresses and pain. Indeed, custom-made shoes can be made with sufficient volume to accommodate a plantar orthosis, but also leave enough room for the various deformations specific to each person. Their manufacture must also allow ideal support and stabilization of the varus of the rearfoot, a lateral flaring of the heel, and the addition of a cradle at the level of the sole to help the person to walk correctly.