A condition that we at Gentle Professional Foot Care see in a large segment of our patient population is flat feet. In many cases, flat feet cause no pain and require no treatment except monitoring the condition to make sure it is not creating other foot or lower extremity problems. For some patients, flat feet can lead to heel pain or pain in the knee or lower back due to the altered alignment of the body caused by your feet being completely flat on the ground without any visible arch. Flat feet can also be associated with other diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.
In order to determine if your flat feet require treatment, it’s best to let our foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, examine your feet. The foot doctor will want to analyze the biomechanics of your feet by observing them from the front and the back while you are standing and also when you are up on your toes. The podiatrist may also want to check the wear pattern of your shoes, so it’s a good idea to wear a pair to your appointment that you use fairly often. If necessary, the foot doctor may prescribe custom orthotics, supportive shoes or physical therapy to better control arch issues. There are, however, some things you the patient can do to help in the care of flat feet.
Factors You Can’t Control
Some causes and risk factors related to flat feet are not anything you can change. These include:
· Heredity—some people are born with a biomechanical dysfunction or an inherited tendency toward flat feet.
· Childhood developmental problems—in some cases the arch of the foot fails to properly develop during childhood
Factors You Can Control
There are some steps you can take to help reduce foot pain related to fallen arches or flat feet, such as:
· Losing weight. Being obese or overweight can increase the likelihood of flat feet and also the pain caused by them. Less weight means less strain on your feet.
· Choose low-impact activities. If you experience discomfort from flat feet, try activities like swimming or biking rather than running or basketball to get your exercise.
· Rest your feet when they are hurting.