Orthotics and Flat Feet

2022 Oct 17th

What are flat feet?

Flat feet, also called fallen arches, are deformities that can be caused by various types of physical impacts, or birth defects. Symptoms of one foot or both may develop over time or simply an inheritance issue, genetics. Flat feet have little or no arches and most of the soles will touch the floor while you sit. Flexible flatfoot is an uncommon form of flatfoot commonly seen in babies and worsens over time. Flexible flatfoot usually occurs in both feet being flattened when supporting the body, but returning to an arch if the feet are at rest. Many of these fallen arch issues can be helped with the use of orthotic inserts in the shoe.

Flatfoot is often known as pes planus, which means flat on the foot or low on the foot. It can also be known as the more technical term; posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. If a person has flat feet he or she usually has a gap underneath their internal side when standing or a narrow arch. Flat feet are not treated unless there is pain or other problems involved. Flat feet can also lead to a variety of conditions. If flat feet cause pain or discomfort they may need some exercises to reduce pain. The fall of the arches refers to a sloping foot. Flat feet usually do not require medical attention unless they are painful.

What are the types of flat feet?

Flexible flat feet

This condition is when you can see the arches in the feet when you are not standing up, and is fairly common. Typically both feet are affected and the condition gets worse with age.

Rigid flat feet

This condition is when a person has almost no arch to their feet when standing or sitting. This painful condition makes it painful to flex the foot up or down as well as side to side.

Adult-acquired flatfoot/fallen arches

This condition is when an arch unexpectedly drops, possibly just one foot. This condition causes the foot to turn outwards and is usually caused by injury in the leg tendons

Vertical talus

This condition is when a foot from birth is prevented from growing the arches properly. The bottom of the foot is visually similar to a rocking chair.

Symptoms and causes of flat feet

What causes a flat foot?

The human foot has no apparent arch when standing, and every baby starts off having flat feet. The arches of the feet develop from the early years. The normal arch of a foot can take up to 10 years to develop. Orthotics and stretching exercises are beneficial for fallen arches.

Flat feet are caused by several factors. Stretched or damaged ligaments, torn or ripped tendons. In some cases, it's a genetic issue of development and not an injury.

Flat feet can be the root cause of numerous problems, such as arthritis and obesity. Aging genes and pregnancy can also cause flat feet and fallen arches. If you suffer from fibromyalgia and spinida, you have increased odds of developing of flat feet.

What are symptoms of flat feet?

You'll be tested for falling arches if you have flat feet. Several kids have flat feet which are sometimes termed flexible flat feet. As the child sits their foot is flat, however, when they step upwards, there's an unusual arch. Often as a child matures the arches begin to appear over time, naturally.

Most flat feet are not painful and not treated. Some symptoms of flat feet include sagging or no arching in the feet, or aches in the innermost part of your feet and arches. A flatfoot can cause pain to radiate into other parts of the foot or leg.

Types of flat foot pain

Fallen arches can cause pain in the feet. It occurs from strain on the muscles and connective ligaments in the foot. The knee or pelvis can also become painful from excessive strain. This stress occurs when the ankles are turned inside.

  • Symptoms of fallen arches include
  • Leg cramping.
  • Pains of the foot.
  • Pain around the ankles and heels.
  • Pain while walking.
  • Changed walking gait.
  • Toe-drifting (the front of the feet with toes pointed towards the outside).
  • Leg cramped.
  • Muscle pain in the feet.
  • Pain around the ankles and feet.

How are flat feet diagnosed?

Adult flatfoot may be an incidental finding or symptomatic disorder whose clinical outcomes can range from minor limitations to serious disability. A medical professional may try diagnosing flat feet by feeling and observing the arches in the foot. They may also try taking some x rays to see if there are other issues inside the foot.

It may be painful for you if you have difficulty moving. Raise your foot with your toes pointed toward your feet to see if it's painful and if so, we recommend seeing a doctor.

The majority of people with tight Achilles tendons do not have any symptoms of flat feet. However, many flat-footed individuals suffer foot pain, particularly in the shin or ankle areas. Pain is likely to get worse during activity. Swellings can occur at the ankle, and can be treated with ice or orthotic inserts.

Management and treatment options

Rare are the patients that require surgical treatment when they have sprained or fractured bones or tendons.

Treatment options include:

Physiotherapies are designed for stretching tight muscle tissues and improving flexibility in joints and improving flexibility in the body. This can be helpful in some cases of diagnosed flat feet.

Physical therapy may be used in the treatment of those who have developed flat feet. When a person has suffered from excessive foot trauma or a lack of strength or technique, the issue can present as fallen arches. Surgery generally is never necessary for flat foot unless there is a fracture or tendon injury.

Operation is not just for flat feet. Surgical treatment is a possibility when patients experience pain and difficulty focusing because of the pain. Surgery is necessary to fix any bone or tendinitis problem in the foot or ankle.

Flat foot causes several health risks: Inflammated soft tissue. Pain on the legs and feet. Heels, feet or ankle pain.

Some Questions for your doctor:

Is being flat-footed an advantage?

A 1989 Army infantry trainee's study showed that those with flat feet had less training injury compared to people with regular or high instep training. Trainee students with high arches have experienced more injuries than their flat-footed colleagues.

What relieves flat feet pain?

In case of flat feet, it can be helpful to have medical advice. Arch support (orthodontic devices). Non-prescription supports for flat feet may ease flatfoot discomfort. ... Exercise. Flat feet also have a short Achilia tendon. ... Physiotherapy.

Is plantar fasciitis flat feet?

Contrastingly, plantar fasciitis causes heel pain. So, yes, flat feet are symptomatic of collapse of the feet and have no corresponding symptoms. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation and pain in tendons and fascial tissue.

Can flat feet cause ankle tendonitis?

Your Achilles tendon connects to the heel of your calf by pushing harder than it should. Additional stress is possibly causing the tendinitis called Achilles tendonitis, which is like micro-tears in the tissue.