Flat Feet

Flat feet condition that has many names, such as, pes planus, fallen arches, or over-pronation. This condition can happen at any age. This condition is evident when the arch of the foot collapses with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near complete contact with the ground. In approximately 20-30% of the general population the arch never develops in one or both feet.

Types of Flat Feet

There are two types of flat feet. There is the flexible flat foot, when the foot is flat while standing but can bend. The second type is the  rigid flat foot which maintains one shape preventing the foot from making any bending movement at all. Most flat feet conditions alone don’t cause pain or other symptoms. In flat feet, pronation of the feet occurs, which is the rotation of the foot inward and downward resulting in the foot to come down on its inner or medial side.

Flat Feet and Children

Flat feet is a common condition in infants and toddlers, which is normal. Children of that age have more fat in their feet. With children, the flat feet condition should be treat if the child activity level is affected. Children often have multiple falls, tired feet, or just have pain. As the children develop the tissue (tendons) in their feet tightens and forms an arch.  Flat feet occurs when the tissue (tendons) does not tighten the joints of the feet are loose and unsupported.

Symptoms and Treatment Options

Flat feet do not cause pain but over time can cause many painful conditions all over the body. If not treated or addressed, flat feet can lead to foot pain, ankle injuries, lower leg pain, knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain, and cervical (neck) pain. Adults with flat feet commonly get tired feet due to prolonged standing or activity.

The symptoms of flat feet are treatable with the proper support of the feet. Custom orthotics and supportive shoe are the best treatment options. In addition to custom orthotics and supportive shoes, heel cups, inserts, and strapping may also be an option.