When you stand up, do your feet completely touch the ground? If you answered yes, then you are missing arches on the inside of your feet, a condition called flat feet. Flat feet are a common condition that occurs when the tissues holding the joints in the foot together are loose.
A person usually develops flat feet during childhood. Children have flat feet because the foot’s arch hasn’t developed yet. As children grow the tissues in their feet tighten and form an arch, usually by the age of two or three years old. By adulthood arches have formed, but in some people the arch may never form completely or may need help in order to correct the condition. Injuries can also be a cause of flat feet as well as the aging process.
Do flat feet cause pain? Not always – having flat feet is typically painless. But it’s not completely uncommon that people with flat feet experience foot pain in the heel or arch area, difficulty standing on tiptoe, or have swelling along the inside of the ankle. Standing for long periods of time, along with achy or tired feet after playing sports may also cause pain. Some back problems can also be attributed to flat feet.
Flat feet can be diagnosed after having a physical exam of your feet, but to help determine the cause, a doctor may ask for x-rays. Treatment for flat feet depends upon the pain and trouble your feet are causing for your everyday activities. If you are not experiencing any pain that’s great, but if you are there are a couple different options. Purchase shoe inserts, although not a cure, shoe inserts can help reduce the symptoms of flat feet and in severe cases, custom orthotics will be needed. Stretching is also an option that can help reduce pain.
Sometimes flat feet can cause problems in your ankles and knees so it’s important to check with your podiatrist about your condition if you are experiencing any pain. Feel free to call our office and we can arrange a date for you to meet with the doctor. (610) 432-9593