Do you have flatfeet?

causes and effects of flatfeetA normal human foot has a gap, or arch, on the underside that naturally forms during the early years of childhood. For some people, that arch never develops or it loosens over time, resulting in flatfeet or fallen arches.

The foot’s arch plays a role in how you walk. If the arch is flat or too low to the ground, this can strain certain muscles, tendons, and joints in the feet and legs. It can cause overpronation when you walk or run. Most frequently, it puts strain on the ankles that are forced to turn inward as you step.  

Symptoms of flatfeet

In some people, flatfeet do not cause pain or discomfort. They may not even know they have this issue. But others notice pain in their arches, ankles, lower legs, and knees, particularly after being on their feet for long periods.

If you have flatfeet, you’ll be able to see all or part of your arch in your footprints. A foot with a proper arch will have a space where the arch is lifted off the ground. Look at your own footprint by getting your foot wet and stepping on a sidewalk or wooden deck. If you don’t see a space for your arch, or you are able to see your entire foot’s imprint, you likely have flatfeet.

What causes flatfeet?

Flatfeet are often caused by:

  • Genetics. If your parents or grandparents have flatfeet, you are more likely to have them.
  • Weakened tendons in the foot. Some people’s arches collapse when they put weight on their foot because the tendons cannot support the body’s weight.
  • Normal aging and wear and tear. Over time, muscles and tendons lose some of their strength. This may result in a lower or flattened arch.
  • Foot injuries, such as a sprained ankle or injury to the tendon in the foot’s arch.

Treatment for flatfeet

Your podiatrist can often tell if you have flatfeet by examining your feet while you stand and walk. Adults who have flatfeet or fallen arches often find they can prevent pain by wearing proper footwear with a comfortable arch support as recommended by their podiatrist. Some people find they also need the additional support of an arch support insole or custom orthotic.

Children with flatfeet don’t need treatment unless they are in pain. The problem often resolves as the child grows. Adults, however, are more at risk of problems. Flatfeet can lead to plantar fasciitis, bunions, and knee pain.Torn tendons can lead to a foot deformity and ongoing pain and problems with walking.

Although flatfeet aren’t always serious, any foot, ankle, or leg pain should be checked out by your podiatrist. A few simple adjustments to your footwear may help support your arches, alleviate discomfort, and prevent complications.

Are your feet or ankles bothering you? Are you concerned about your flatfeet? Give your feet the care they deserve call us at (913) 338-4440 or contact the expert podiatrists at Kansas City Foot Specialists to schedule your appointment!

 

Tags: foot care,, flatfeet, foot pain