Do You Have Flat Feet?

The adult human foot has a natural arch on the inner side in the middle. When the foot is placed on the floor the part of the foot on the curve will not touch the floor. The arch is caused by the tendons that attach the foot and heel bones. The arch adds to the flexibility of the foot. When the arch or curve is not present or is very slight, a person is said to have flat feet or fallen arches.

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Check if you have Flat Feet?

There is a simple way to check if your feet are flat:

   ·        Get the soles of your feet completely wet

   ·        With the soles wet, stand on a flat surface where the print made by the wet feet will be easily visible. 

    ·        If the footprints show the complete sole of the feet with no dry area where the arch should be keeping that part of the foot above the floor, you probably have flat feet. 

If you think you have flat feet or are not sure about it, consult a foot and ankle specialist to have the condition evaluated and treated, if required.

The Causes

There are a number of possible reasons why you may have flat feet. These include:

     ·        An abnormality that has been present since birth. 

     ·        An abnormality that has been present since birth. 

     ·        The posterior tibial tendon which connects from the lower leg may be 

inflamed or damaged.

     ·        Broken or improperly healed bones in the feet or dislocated bones.

     ·        A condition affecting the nerves located in the feet,

     ·        Other health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

     ·        Obesity.

     ·        Pregnancy.

     ·        Diabetes.

     ·        Aging.

The Symptoms

Fallen arches often create no problems and require no treatment. In many cases, people go through their lives not knowing that they have flat feet. However, in some cases the following symptoms may manifest themselves:

     ·        Feet that become tired quickly even when the stress on them has been minimal.

      ·        Painful feet with the pain typically focused on the arches and heels

     ·        Swelling of the inside bottom of the feet.

     ·        Some movements, such as standing on the toes, becomes difficult and/or painful.

     ·        Recurring pain in the back or legs.

The Treatment

Flat feet often require no treatment and a person with fallen arches is able to live a completely normal life without the condition affecting him or her in any way. However, if the condition is causing problems that affect a person’s mobility, then a doctor will recommend a course of treatment. This could be:

    ·        Wearing special shoes or orthotic devices.

    ·        Stretching exercises.
    ·        Physical therapy.
    ·        Medication to relieve pain and inflammation.

    ·        A combination of any or all of the above.

    ·        In the most severe cases, the doctor may recommend surgery to correct the arch. There are a number of possible procedures and the doctor will decide what is best for the condition.

If you do have flat feet, there is no cause for concern. It is a very common problem and very rarely has any effect on a person’s mobility or quality of life. All the same, you should consult a foot specialist to ensure that other complications do not develop and that you are able to remain active and healthy with no complications.


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