Feet are considered “flat” if they have little-to-no arch in the center of the bottom of the foot. Some people refer to flat feet as having fallen arches, which can happen when the muscles on a higher arch weaken due to injury. While this does not always cause problems, some with this issue experience foot pain. The following guide explains this phenomenon in more detail and what you can do about it.
What to Know About Flat Feet
What are some indicators of this condition?
Kids with flat feet often trip because their foot muscles aren’t strong enough to help them stay balanced.
When people with flat feet step out of the shower onto the rug, they leave behind a footprint where the edges of the feet draw straight lines from the heels to the toes. Those with arches see a curve on the inside of the foot.
The soles of one’s shoes may wear unevenly for someone with flat arches because the heel and toes take more pressure than the shoe is designed for.
What causes it?
Children develop foot arches during the first two to three years of their lives as they learn to walk and strengthen the muscles and ligaments in their feet and legs. Kids who wear closed-toe shoes during childhood are more likely to have flat feet because they aren’t given as many opportunities to strengthen their ligaments as those who wear sandals or go barefoot.
People who are obese have a higher risk of collapsed arches because of the excess pressure and weight on their feet. Older individuals are also more likely to experience this condition as their muscles weaken with age.
Are they problematic?
Flat feet are normal for many people and don’t always cause foot pain. Individuals whose arches fall with time may experience aches as their ligaments and muscles loosen.
What are the treatment options?
Rest if your feet are in pain. Consider icing the foot or applying a heat pack for 10 minutes to see which feels better.
Individuals with flat feet may also benefit from going to a podiatrist. These foot experts can teach exercises to strengthen the feet and remove pressure from the arch by tightening up the ligaments that help form it.
You can also ask them about what shoes or shoe modifications are best to provide some curvature for the arch and support the muscles and ligaments in the foot.
People concerned about foot pain associated with their flat feet should turn to the experts at Foot & Ankle Specialists near Cincinnati, OH. The podiatry and orthopedic team serve the Tri-State area, making equal use of their in-depth knowledge and innovative technology. Call (513) 769-4408 to set up an appointment, or visit the website for information on the other conditions they treat.