April 20, 2024

Flat Feet: Treatments, Surgery and Causes

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Flat feet
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Flat feet, sometimes known as “fallen arches,” occur when your feet press flat against the ground. They’re rather frequent and normally cause little concern.

Here’s how to find out whether you have flat feet:

  • While standing, examine the inside surfaces of your feet. Your feet will be flat on the ground if you have flat feet. The foot should not have any space between it and the ground.
  • If the inside of your foot is elevated off the ground, you do not have flat feet (this is called the arch).

Flat feet do not normally require treatment. So, if you or your child have flat feet and they aren’t creating any difficulties, you don’t need to do anything. Until roughly the age of six, most children have flat feet. They frequently acquire an arch after this period.

Flat feet are seldom an indication of anything dangerous and should not prevent you from participating in any activity, including sports. However, you may have soreness around your ankle or in the arch of your foot at times. Your shoes may also become worn out more quickly than most.

Consult your doctor if you have flat feet and the following experiences:

  • your feet are painful, stiff, weak, or numb.
  • Foot and ankle injuries are common.
  • you have walking or balance issues
  • You did not previously have flat feet since it only affects one foot.

These issues indicate that you may require therapy.

Treatments

If your flat feet are causing you issues and you require treatment, your doctor may send you to a professional such as a podiatrist or physiotherapy. Referral to a specialist is not always possible, and waiting times might be lengthy. Your primary care physician may be able to advise you on how to pay for private consultations with specialists.

A foot specialist can advise you on:

  • what shoes to wear (wide, comfortable shoes with a low heel are usually best)
  • shoe insoles for foot support
  • foot workouts and stretches
  • painkillers

These will not modify the form of your foot, but they may alleviate discomfort or stiffness.

Surgery

Surgery for flat feet is rarely required. It may be beneficial if you have a problem with your feet’s bones, tissues, or muscles and other therapies have failed.

If your doctor believes surgery may be beneficial, he or she may refer you to a surgeon.

Causes

Flat feet are frequently undiagnosed, and in some cases, it might just be the shape of your feet. However, it should be noted that flat feet can someitmes run in families.

Flat feet can also be caused by the following factors:

  • the bones in the feet not developing properly in the womb
  • stretching of the tissues in your feet (possibly as a result of things like an injury, getting older or being overweight)
  • Conditions that affect the muscles, nerves, or joints throughout the body, such as cerebral palsy and spina bifida

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