Also known as pes planus and fallen arches, flat feet occur when the arches of your foot collapse down and sometimes the entire sole of the foot may touch the ground when standing.
Having flat feet is a very common and many be present from birth or can develop over time. It is very common for children to have flat feet as their body is still growing and developing.
As children get older their muscles, tendons and ligaments will strengthen and the arch of the foot may form. The arch of the foot helps to support the body when walking and can help to evenly distribute pressure over the foot.
It needs to be both sturdy and flexible in order to adapt to uneven surfaces and a variety of stresses.
When people have flat feet their feet may ‘excessively pronate’ this means that their feet roll inwards when walking or standing.
The main symptom of flat feet is an achy feeling in the arch of the foot, foot pain especially after walking.
This area of the foot may also become swollen. However, flat feet can also cause pain in other parts of the body such as: calf, ankle, knee, hip or back.
- Tarsal coalition – this occurs when bones in the foot fuse together and can cause the foot to become flat and stiff
- Foot or ankle injury
- Arthritis such as Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Damage, dysfunction or rupture to the posterior tibial tendon
- Certain diseases may make people more likely to have flat feet. Examples include: Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Spina Bifida etc.
Fallen Arches Treatment
Flat feet only need treatment if they are causing discomfort or pain. Some people have flat feet and may have no issues at all.
- Supportive, well fitting, wide shoes
- Custom foot orthotics help to support the arch and correct any biomechanical issues such as excessive pronation
- A podiatrist can prescribe exercises to help increase strength and flexibility in the foot and ankle which may relieve symptoms
A podiatrist may suggest that the patient needs surgery but this is never an initial option. If all conservative treatments have failed and the flat feet are very severe then we can refer you for an orthopaedic assessment.
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Prevention is better than cure and our chiropodists and podiatrist emphasise this importance in all their treatment plans. So if you are having any problems with you feet or legs then you should make an appointment as you don’t want the problem to become worse.
Especially if you have foot pain and don’t want it to have a knock-on effect into your knees, hips or back.
If you have you specific questions about this article or want some specialist advice then please feel free to contact me, Wioleta, on 0838241454 or email me at email@example.com