What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet are also known as fallen arches or pes planus. Typically, there is an arch in the bottom of the foot that creates a space between the bottom of the foot and the floor when the person is standing. However, in some cases, there is no space or only a very small space. This condition is known as flat feet.
Many people have flat feet and it never bothers them or causes symptoms. However, some people experience pain in their feet as a result of the feet being flat. A flat foot can cause strain on the ligaments and muscles in the feet, which result in inflammation and pain. Flat feet can also cause the ankles to rotate inward. This can lead to pain in the feet, ankles, and knees.
Symptoms of Flat Feet
People who have flat feet report a variety of symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- Pain in the ankle, foot, arch of the foot, calf, knee, hip, back, or leg;
- Stiffness in the feet;
- Swelling of the feet or ankles;
- Uneven wearing of their shoes.
Causes of Flat Feet
Flat feet seem to run in families, so you may have been born with flat feet because someone else in your family had them.
Flat feet can also be caused by weak arches. Some people have an arch in their foot that is visible when no weight is placed on it, but when they stand or put weight on the foot, the arch flattens out.
Other health conditions can also result in flat feet, like arthritis, pregnancy, or diabetes.
Flat feet can be caused by a condition known as tarsal coalition. When this condition occurs, the bones of the feet fuse together improperly during development. This results in the feet being stiff and flat. Tarsal coalition is usually diagnosed during childhood.
The most common cause of flat feet is the simple progression of age. Spending much time every day for years of your life can eventually weaken the supporting structures of the feet, causing the arches to fall and flat feet to develop. If a tendon is torn due to an injury or repetitive stress, the arches may fall and not return to their normal shape.
Risk Factors for Flat Feet
There are some conditions which may make a person more likely to develop flat feet. These risk factors include the following:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Foot or ankle injury
Treatment for Flat Feet
If you are experiencing pain as a result of flat feet, there are several steps that you can take to minimize and relieve pain. One of the most important things that you can do is to always wear well-fitting, supportive shoes. Orthotic devices that are inserted into the shoes can be extremely helpful in giving your feet the support that they need and preventing pain. These orthotic devices only help when they are actually being used; wearing orthotics regularly will help to prevent pain from developing after you have been on your feet for some time.
You can treat painful flat feet by resting them. If there are certain activities that seem to aggravate your pain, avoid them. Elevate the feet, apply ice, and take anti-inflammatory medications.
If you are suffering from pain caused by flat feet, contact Foot Solutions. We offer a wide variety of supportive shoes that can minimize the symptoms that you experience as a result of your flat feet. We also make custom arch supports that will support your feet and help prevent pain.