Flat Feet and Ankle Flexibility

Hello. I'm a 19 year old male of 5'10" and 152lbs, and I am fairly sure that I have flatfoot. I have not suffered any serious long-term effects nor have I ever been to a podiatrist. Two things I believe I have experienced though are tight/shortened achilles tendon and plantar fasciitis. With reguards to the latter, this happened only a few times spread out over the course of last year (experienced while crouching down), and seem to have healed. It is the tight/shortened achilles' tendon that I am more concerned with, as I've recently taken up martial arts (kung fu), and many of the exercises and techniques require rather good ankle flexibility, ie. ability to point the toes far forward, and also to lean far forward on one foot while crouching to support the entire body ( example: http://www.tai-chi-centre.com/Snakecreepdown.gif ). So my question then, is how great are the effects of flatfoot on ankle flexibility? Would correcting my flatfeet increase flexibility, and if so, how much, and would it be worth it to go through treatment at this post-adolescent stage in life? What would you recommend?

(Would appreciate repsonses sent to mpaone@bu.edu)

Sincerely appreciative,

Posted By Michael Paone on October 19, 2003 at 16:17:26:

This slip-on device is a soft and stretchable Nylon/Lycra® fabric molded with a proprietary gel pad to protect the entire Achilles tendon of the foot by absorbing pressure and friction resulted from rubbing with the surface of the shoe.

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