Flat feet is a deformity that occurs when the arch of the foot collapses and comes into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. The condition occurs either at the time of birth or through injury and age. For the people that do develop flat feet, there are very few symptoms. They can include a limited range of motion, swelling along the inner ankle and arch of the foot, and unbearable pain when standing on your feet. The main cause of flat feet is excessive pronation of the foot. This means that the arch descends downward and inward as the foot strikes the ground. Due to the tendency for flat feet to over pronate, they are less able to absorb shock, placing persistent stress on the feet, ankles, and knees. If the inward tilt of the foot places further strain on the tendons and ligaments of the lower extremities, this can also result in Achilles tendinitis and chronic knee pain. Flat feet is most common in newborns and toddlers due to the arches on their feet not having developed yet. Imaging tests done to determine if someone has flat feet are X-rays, ultrasounds and MRIs. The treatments vary for children and adults. The most beneficial treatment for children would be walking barefoot during developmental years. For adults, the best forms of treatment are exercises that increase arch flexibility and strength such as foot gymnastics, a runner’s stretch, the yoga pose downward dog and therapeutic massages. If you feel you are developing flat feet, it is recommended to see a podiatrist so they can provide the best treatment option.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.
Conditions & Problems:
Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.
Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.
Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.
- Pain around the heel or arch area
- Trouble standing on the tip toe
- Swelling around the inside of the ankle
- Flat look to one or both feet
- Having your shoes feel uneven when worn
If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Millburn, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.Read more about What is Flexible Flat Foot?