What are flat feet?
Flat feet can best be described as the entire or most of the sole of the foot touches the ground when standing. It is also known as fallen arches or pes planus. The foot may also roll over to the inner side (Known as over-pronation)
The arch plays an important role in the biomechanics of the lower leg. It provides an elastic connection between the front and the back of the foot so most of the forces that happen during weight bearing can be deplete before the forces reach the leg.
Flat feet are a common cause of musculoskeletal pain and issue. If your feet do not provide proper support, it can cause joint problems caused by poor posture and gait. Children with flat feet are also at risk of knee, foot and ankle pain.
Flat feet can also be a link to lower back and hip pain. If one foot is more collapsed it could also be due to a leg length difference.
How do you get flat feet?
All babies are born with flat feet but as the child grows the arches develop as part of the normal muscle, ligament and bone growth. People with flat feet are most at risk of developing back, knee and hip pain.
Wear and tear with ageing
Injury, illness or prolonged stress to the foot
Flat feet usually occurs in more than one family member
Why should I see a podiatrist for flat feet?
Most people can self-diagnose flat feet and some people show no signs of pain or issues with flat feet. It is best to see one of our podiatrists to come up with a long term treatment plan.
What are the symptoms of flat feet?
Besides the visual signs that the foot is flat on the ground with no arch when standing upright, there can be some other symptoms. Abnormal stresses on the body can cause pain and sometimes swelling in the inside bottoms of the feet, lower limbs and hips and lower back. The feet can tire easily some children/adults will exclude themselves from spots and activities due to the soreness and lack of foot movement, such as standing on their toes, is difficult.
Flat Feet Treatment
Can it be cured? What is the treatment for flat feet?
Treatment is usually flat foot orthotics, stretching exercises and well supportive shoes. The orthotics for flat feet can relive any pressure on the arch and reduce the pain in the feet. Some long term effects from flat feet are arthritis, bunions, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, hammer toes and posterior tibial tendonitis.
Flat feet cannot be cured but a long term treatment plan can help relieve and reduce symptoms.