Flat foot is a foot deformity that occurs when the arch inside the foot is flat. As a result, the foot comes into near or complete contact with the ground when standing up.
People with flat feet typically do not have an arch in their feet or have one that is very low. As a result, when standing up, the gap beneath the inner part of the foot and the ground is non-existing.
Causes of flat feet
As a common and typically painless condition, flat feet can occur over time due to a foot injury, or the process of aging. Moreover, in many people, flat feet occur because their aches did not develop during childhood.
Moreover, the list of more serious causes of flat feet also includes:
- Arthritis of rheumatoid arthritis
- Nervous system or muscle diseases
- Genetic factors
Flat feet in children
It is typical for children and infants to have flat feet. In the early ages of development, the arch is present in the foot but is still not fully developed. Flat feet in early childhood is not a sign that the child will have flat feet for life.
If the arch does not develop corectly in a child’s later childhood, a podiatrist should examine the feet, and determine the real cause for the foot deformity. The doctor can also recommend treatment that can help the arch develop correctly.
Symptoms of flat feet
While most people with flat feet have a few or no symptoms at all, there are still some of them who occasionally experience pain in the midfoot area. The pain tends to become more intense with activities that require long periods of standing, walking, or running.
As a result of the foot overpronation that is typical for flat feet, the feet are not able to absorb the shock and the pressure of the movements. The stress is then placed on the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. Because of the undue stress on these joints, people experience pain and discomfort that can be a clear sign of flat feet.
Treatment options for flat feet
Since this specific foot deformity is painless, many people do not need treatment and can comfortably go through all types of physical activity.
If pain occurs and it is constant, then well-fitted shoes that support the arch can provide relief. Depending on the severity of the deformity, custom-designed arch supports can immensely help the feet as they relieve pressure and reduce pain.
If you experience any pain in your feet that utterly bothers you and causes discomfort, feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment with one of LA’s top podiatrists, Dr. Benjamin Tehrani.