If you have feet with no or shallow arches, then you have flat feet. The other term for this condition is fallen arches. You may end up experiencing no pain or minimal pain or severe discomfort. There are several causes for flat feet, and the way to know if you have flat feet is if your feet are flat on the ground when standing up.
Even if flat feet in your case do not cause discomfort and pain, it needs attention. If you allow the condition to remain the same without it managed, you will experience having your body weight not evenly distributed. That can cause you to walk unevenly, which can put you at risk for ending up with injuries. Let’s talk about the flat feet causes and treatment in more detail.
What Is Flat Feet And What Are The Causes Of The Condition?
Before delving into the causes of flat feet, let’s talk more about the human foot. One human foot contains 33 joints that are responsible for holding 26 bones together. Additionally, there are well over a hundred of ligaments, tendons, as well as muscles in each foot. And having high arches is essential because when you take a step, it gives it spring to each step you take to keep the bodyweight evenly distributed across the legs and feet. And the way the arches are structured is what determines the way someone walks. Surfaces of the ground or floors can have a variety of textures, and the arches must be flexible and sturdy, so they are adaptable.
With that said, those who have flat feet may find that their feet are ending up on the inner side whenever they walk or stand up. The name for this condition is called overpronation, and it often causes the feet to point outward. There are plenty of people who don’t experience pain with flat feet. If the condition is mild, then it is unlikely that there would be any symptoms. However, if the condition is severe, people will have plenty of pain, which results from the muscles and ligaments being stressed and strained.
In addition to that, the pain can easily travel to other parts of the body. It can move to the calves, the knees, the hips, the lower legs, and the lower back. The feet can also feel stiff. However, if you don’t experience pain, the way you know you would have flat feet is if you are noticing that your shoes are wearing down either more quickly or unevenly. As mentioned already, if you do not have it addressed, you could end up with injuries due to walking unevenly.
There are several causes of flat feet, including arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, previous foot or ankle injuries, neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, or just having weak arches. In addition to that, flat feet can also result from genetic factors as if even one parent has the condition; the children can end up with it. If you are not careful and overcompensating, you might even develop other complications such as plantar fasciitis.
It is also essential to know that obesity and diabetes can increase the chances of flat feet. The odds of the condition happening during pregnancy are higher as well. With age, flat feet can also develop due to the weakening of tendons. If you suspect you or your child have flat feet, then you need to talk to your doctor and have your feet examined. You will then be referred to a podiatrist to make the official diagnoses to treat the condition properly.
What Are The Standard Treatments For Flat Feet?
The first thing to do when getting a diagnosis of flat feet is to see your doctor, who will refer you to a podiatrist to assess the severity of the condition. It is effortless to diagnose as all that needs to be done by the podiatrist to diagnose you is by observing and examining the feet thoroughly.
An examination of your feet will happen from the back to the front. Additionally, the podiatrist will tell you to stand on the tips of your toes so that the podiatrist can assess the function as well as the shape of both feet. The specialist will examine your medical history as your Ct scan, MRI scan, or X-ray results.
By having all of that information, your podiatrist will diagnose you with flat feet. And that also means you will likely be prescribed orthotics to support your arches properly. They can either be custom-made, which is more costly but can treat your feet better. You can also purchase orthotics that are pre-made and are a lot less expensive. However, these orthotics may not help you as much as you like, as they don’t tailor to your individual needs. The best thing to do is to find out if your insurance plan covers some of the costs for custom-made orthotics.
You can also purchase the best type of shoes for flat feet. These shoes would feature insoles that would support your arches to stabilize them and prevent them from rolling inwards. Your podiatrist can recommend the best type of shoes to purchase for supporting your feet with the condition. These shoes would also feature a heel counter that is very firm in addition to soles that are wide so that it helps keep your feet more stable as you walk and stand. Therefore, these shoes would help improve the function of your feet.
You will also receive instructions to do specific exercises to help you properly manage your flat feet symptoms. Some of the tasks that you will do are heel cord stretching, as well as doing the golf ball roll. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons or the AAOS recommends those exercises to help your feet and ankles become more reliable and more flexible. And it is essential to do these exercises twice a day and be consistent with them for them to make a difference.
If you don’t have arches or are shallow, you have flat feet, which can cause an uneven distribution of your body weight. And as you walk while you have the condition, it can hamper your stability and increase your chances of ending up with injuries. Fortunately, there ways to solve this issue.
And if you suspect that you have the condition, it is worth your time to learn about the flat feet causes and treatment so you can strengthen your feet and ankles, and reduce your chances of ending up with an injury which would result from you having the condition. You will need to see your doctor, who will likely refer you to a podiatrist to treat your flat feet properly.