Wednesday, 30 January 2019

It Is All About Flat Foot: Symptoms, Reasons, Types and Treatments:

Overview:

Flat foot is a deformity in the feet because of which individuals end up being unique from the usual frame of the human being. Usually, people have feet with a minute arch that empowers them to stand and run well. The arch benefits in even distribution of the body weight on the feet and limits the stress on the feet. An arch on the feet also improves the balance of the body. In people who have a flat foot, there is either no arch or an extremely flat one that isolates them from the ground. The deformity of arches in a human being can be observed either in one or both the feet.


In toddlers, flat foot is common, and it vanishes with time. At the age of 2 to 3, the body frame of the infant develops, and the tendons of the legs tighten but at times it can remain till adulthood.

Due to flat foot, the foot points outwards and affects the entire sole which touches the surface. It can be uncomfortable when you do extensive physical movements. The flat feet can sometimes add to the issues with the knees or ankles because this deformity can alter the arrangement of the limbs.

Symptoms:

Most of the time, individuals with flat foot do not witness any indications or symptoms of having a deformity. But some people suffer severe pain in their foot, ankle or knees, especially near their heels. This painful experience gets worse with time if not handled properly. Swelling around the ankle area may also take place.

When to approach a specialist?

The moment when an individual with a flat foot suffers pain in the foot, the area around the heels, ankles or knees, he must consult a specialist.

Reasons for flat foot:
  • Ancestry or heredity, means passed from their parents.
  • Due to any dysfunction, damage, rupture or injury to the ankle or feet.
  • Flat or weak foot can also be caused by joint inflammation or nervous system diseases.
  • Weight gained during the time of pregnancy may sometimes cause low or no arches.

                                 

Types of flat foot:

In general, flat foot is of two types: Flexible flat foot and rigid flat foot.

How to figure out whether you are suffering from a flexible or rigid flat foot?

A person having a flexible flat foot can observe the arch in his/her foot in resting position (not while standing or walking). The arch disappears the moment when the foot comes into contact with the surface. While in rigid flat foot, there is no arch in the foot irrespective of the person being in rest or motion.

The flexible flat foot is found in infants whereas the rigid flat foot is seen in adults. The flexible or pediatric flat foot appears in both the feet. But the rigid or true flat foot emerges in either one or both feet.

Treatment of fallen arches:

Foot support:

To heal flat foot difficulty, one can choose the simplest method of offering support to the feet. A podiatrist or any regular specialist can be consulted for using orthotics. Orthotics are embeddings that fit inside your footwear and give support to your feet. 

For toddlers, until the feet are fully developed, special shoes or heel cups are recommended by the doctors.

Foot surgery:

The extreme option that one can opt for handling a fallen arch is a foot surgery. A surgery is performed when the problem is acute. Through this surgery, the orthopedic surgeon creates an arch in the fallen arch area. This surgery also helps in repairing ligaments and fusing the bones or joints. If in case the Achilles tendons of a person are short then, the surgeon can extend tendons to suppress the pain.

Changing the lifestyle:

The most natural way of curing something is to incorporate a healthy lifestyle. Some major or minute changes in your daily schedule like a proper diet or some exercises will help a lot. An exercise plan may help you in losing your weight and eventually limiting the pressure on the feet. Sometimes, the doctors recommend not to stand or walk for prolonged intervals.

Proper medication:

Swelling and pain around the heel areas are common for a flat foot.To reduce the pain and discomfort from swelling, the specialists might recommend medication. Timely intake of medications can give you quick relief.  

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