Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs - The Achilles tendon becomes shorter and pulls up on the heel of a person with flat feet, causing the arch to flatten and the foot to become longer. Thus, the plantar fascia (tight band of muscle under the foot arch) becomes abnormally stretched, which can lead to pain in the heel bone (plantar fasciitis) and heel spurs. Low back pain - This usually occurs due to strain on the sciatic nerve. This nerve links the lower back to the foot via the leg. The strain is typically caused by repeated shock from running and over-pronation. If your condition is serious and your ankle area has been swollen for some time you may want to see an orthopedic surgeon. You may be having problems with one of your tendons also. However, surgery may not be needed but you can expect your physician to recommend wearing a custom-designed orthotic or arch support. Orthotics are molded to the shape of your feet and you slip them into your shoes like the other ready-made shoe inserts. Knee/Hip/Back Pain – When the arch collapses in the foot, it triggers a series of compensations up the joint chain, leading to increased stress on the knee, pelvis and low back. A night splint holds the foot at 90 degrees during your sleep. The aim of the splints is to keep your foot and calf muscles stretched during the night. Normally during rest the plantar fascia and calves tend to tighten and shorten. So when you wake up in the morning and take your first steps, the fascia are being pulled all of a sudden, causing the sharp pain in the heel. Foot provides us the basic liberty of moving around freely. So you should be extremely careful while walking, running or doing any activity involving foot movement; since the foot is subject to trauma in every step you take. Pain in the foot that is caused by flat feet may be alleviated if the patient wears supportive well-fitted shoes. Some patients say that symptoms improve with extra-wide fitting shoes. Fitted insoles or orthotics (custom-designed arch supports) may relieve pressure from the arch and reduce pain if the patient's feet roll or over-pronate. The benefits of an orthotic only exist while it is being worn. Patients with tendonitis of the posterior tibial tendon may benefit if a wedge is inserted along the inside edge of the orthotic - this takes some of the load off the tendon tissue. Over-pronation of the feet is very common, at least half of the population has this problem, but most people don't realise they have this condition! Over-pronation simply means that the feet and ankles roll inwards too much during walking and that the arches collapse. With age, most people tend to over-pronate. However, this condition is not uncommon in children and teenagers, as well as athletes. You can find the complete Plantar Fasciitis stretching exercise program here. Or talk to your physiotherapist or podiatrist about specific exercises. Sometimes practitioners will prescribe a night splint, designed to gently stretch the fascia during the night. Almost eighty percent of the American population is challenged with foot pain problems. It’s NOT OK for your feet to hurt, and there ARE lots of foot fitness exercises you can do to help stretch, strengthen and help keep your feet healthy. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Even a quick 5-15 minutes a couple of days a week with some targeted foot fitness exercises, and you can be well on your way to getting relief from foot pain problems. Mar 06, 2011 By Brad Longazel Photo Caption Improve the health of your feet with exercises to correct fallen arches. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put one leg about a step behind your other leg, keeping your back heel flat on the floor. Make sure this leg stays straight at all times. Now bend the knee of the front leg slowly, lowering your body until you feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Do the same for the other leg. Excessive flattening of the foot causes the joints to move beyond their normal range. This damages the bones at the joints and this is known as arthritis. Treatment for shin splint pain can be difficult when the pain is too much to handle. From the ultra-sensitive nerves to the inability to put pressure on the lower leg, it is one of the excruciating foot ailments. Nevertheless, with the proper physician attention, shin splint pain relief can be conquered most of the time. Including the proper use of orthotics and several innovative massage procedures, relief is finally in sight. For most people, treatment is successful, regardless of the cause, although the cause does does play a major role in determining your prognosis. Some causes do not need treatment, while others require a surgical fix. Complications of Flat Feet Ready made inserts cause imbalances in your foot in and of themselves. Podiatrists and Physicians know this and you owe it to yourself to see if your foot pain problem requires orthonics, which are insoles molded from a plaster cast of both feet, and are necessary for both feet even if you are having foot problems in just one foot. Orthonics are made and worn for both feet even if you have foot pain in just one foot. The reason for this is the foot without the pain, could be one of the reasons for the pain in the other foot by causing an imbalance condition among other things.