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I think it almost always is. I would add that I think collapsed arches have been a little over-villified in the fitness/health space. Your feet are one of the areas in the body with the most joints (the other being the spine!). As such, that suggests that there ought to be movement. Being stuck flat-footed might cause issues, but some people (myself included) have pretty flat feet and no issues. The opposite can be true as well. A foot stuck in the arched position is no better. A foot that can absorb and transfer forces effectively can move from arched (associated with supination) to "flat" (associated with pronation). Pronation also ought to occur when you are putting force into the ground. Interestingly, foot pronation is also associated with hip internal rotation and ankle dorsiflexion. No wonder so many people struggle with squat mobility while they try to maintain an arched foot and shove their knees out sideways.It’s interesting that you mention the collapsed arch. I wonder if what’s going on is a little more complex.
If you want a deeper dive on this, go do a little research into PRI (postural restoration institute). I also suggest David Grey (whose content I shared above), Zac Cupples, and Conor Harris. For the foot, there is no better than Gary Ward (search for "Gary Ward Aim"). Gary Ward in particular has many success stories of helping peoples' feet to move better, resulting in less back pain, knee pain, etc...I wonder if this could all be caused by a compensation pattern. If it were me I would be mindful and explore alignment in the rest of my body. Is my pelvis level, are my shoulders square? What happens when I hinge/squat/ walk etc
Agreed. Doing isolated exercises is fine to strengthen a weak muscle, but I think it's more important to teach the whole system to move better. If I was low on time, which I often am, I would focus entirely on the latter.The more time that passes the more I’m convinced specific remedial exercises are the final 10-20% of sorting movement problems. The rest comes from addressing the entire structure and any restrictions, establishing diaphragmatic breathing, head control and trunk stability. When the hips and shoulders interact with each other as they should everything else often comes into line.