What is pes transversovalgus and how does it arise?
Pes transversovalgus is also known as “flat foot”. Numerous foot deformities are combined in this condition.
- The heel bone buckles inwards (club foot).
- The foot arches sink downwards (fallen arches).
- The metatarsal bones spread outwards (splay foot).
The foot arch is made up of muscles, tendons and ligaments. It functions as a shock absorber and divides the entire bodyweight into three main load points:
- Big toe
- Balls of the foot
Weak foot muscles and additional strain can flatten out the foot arch. The ligaments cannot hold the heel bone in its natural position any more. That’s why the heel bone buckles inwards. At the same time, the entire foot arch sinks downwards and the metatarsal bones splay outwards. This occurs with every tread the foot makes.
The deformities that result from this can have a negative effect on posture and lead to pain in the knees, hips, back as well as even the shoulders and neck.
Risk factors and causes
Overweight, overstrain in sport, weak connective tissue and insufficiently trained foot muscles make pes transversovalgus more likely to develop. Risk factors and causes are:
- Sports which involve intense jumping such as basketball and volleyball
- Intensive running sports such as jogging, speed-walking and hiking
- Sports involving fast changes of direction such as handball and football
- Sports involving backwards stop-and-go movements such as tennis, squash or badminton
- Unsuitable shoes
- Overstrain through standing and walking for a long time
- Reduced elasticity of the tendons (owing to increasing age)
- Shortened tendons or muscles
- More strain owing to being overweight
How to treat pes transversovalgus
Individually fitted orthopaedic insoles support and can correct deformities by lifting the foot arch. Thanks to the defined heel support, the position of the heel bone is optimised.
Foot deformities can be identified by a doctor or a insole specialist by examining the footprint or analysing the foot when walking and standing. The specialist will select the orthopaedic insoles according to the symptoms, shoe type and area of application. The insole will then be custom fitted. Orthopaedic insoles help to balance out foot deformities. They also promote healthy posture and can alleviate pain.
Prevention: Gymnastic exercises to develop your feet
In addition to treatment with insoles, we recommend that you train your foot muscles regularly. We’ve put together several exercises to help you strengthen your feet for long-term benefits.
Agility, activating the transverse arch – toe caterpillar
Lay half a tennis ball on the floor. Claw your toes in the floor and drag your foot in the direction of the ball. When your foot is by the ball, shoot it a little forward with your toes. Repeat many times and then use the other foot.
Coordination, agility – tearing up newspaper
Spread out a piece of newspaper on the floor. Stand with one foot on the paper and try to tear it up with the other foot. Then change the foot.
Coordination, agility – picking up marbles
Put a few marbles (or similar objects) on the floor. Try to lift them up with your feet and put them in a container. Change feet every time you successfully lift up a marble.
Loosening, relaxation – foot massage
Put a hedgehog or fasciae ball on the floor and massage the soles of your feet in circular movements.
Stretch – stretching your calves
Support yourself against a wall, put one leg behind the other and stretch your calves. While doing this, the heel of the leg at the back should not leave the floor.
Mobilisation, agility – stretching your toes
Sit on a stool and put one leg onto the other leg with the ankle near to the knee. Hold your lower leg still with one hand and bend the toes in the direction of the soles of your feet with the other hand.
Agility – lifting your toes
Sit on a stool and lift up one leg. Pull your toes towards you, alternating your feet, and then stretch them away from you.
Rotate your feet
Sit on a stool and lift up one leg. Now rotate your feet in both clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
Coordination, strengthening, stabilising – balancing
Put one foot on an unstable surface (a thick cushion for example). Move the weight onto this foot and try to balance on one leg for a few seconds. Then repeat the exercise with the other leg.
Orthopaedic insoles by medi
Find out more information about the orthopaedic insoles from medi here.