All my life, I thought being flat-footed is something you're born with, but boy, was I so wrong. "Most of the time, it is mostly acquired because of the activities you do or sometimes inherent na lumalambot yung support from the ilalim because of the walking; probably the weight is also a factor and then yung mga prolonged standing is also a factor. It’s a multitude of factors," says Dr. Roberto Lopez of the Philippine Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, whom we got to chat with at the launch of Vionic Footwear, an innovative leader in alleviating heel pain, here in Manila.
As we learned about how biomechanically engineered footwear supports your body from the ground up, we didn't pass up on the opportunity to ask Dr. Lopez more about how to take better care of our feet:
Vionic footwear don't only provide superior arch support, they're stylish, too.
How important is it to get your foot assessed? "Prevention is better that cure and it’s less expensive so don't wait to feel major pain before getting yourself checked."
What are the most common foot problems among Filipinos? "Those without diseases, kadalasan Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes aka plantar fascia), yun yung may heel pain kapag tumapak sila in the morning. Another is flat-footedness, those who have bunions. But for those who have diseases, it’s more of the diabetic."
How helpful are biochemically engineered footwear? "Let's take into consideration kung flat-footed, usually you feel pain in the middle or inside the foot kasi we have a muscle that supports it right there and runs at the back of your shin. That one actually brings up your medial arch. Now sometimes, if we do a lot of activities the normal curvature of the foot especially when you put weight on it kung makikita mo it flattens so medyo bumabagsak causing stretching of this one and then causing pain here. Prior to that, with what you said prevention is better so you put something in the middle (shoes with proper arch support) which is the priority. That will prevent the pain here; eventually in the future it will prevent the flat-footedness as much as it can."
What other footwear-wearing tips would you like to share? "For the flat-footed, what I recommend is strengthening of the muscles below. An exercise you can try is you get a rug, go barefoot and then try to inch it forward to you. That will strengthen the muscles below. Another, or a prevention for that, may rug diyan put a book in front so may weight kapag dinaganan mo so it strengthens the ilalim."
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Vionic is at Uptown Mall, Bonifacio Global City