The arch of the foot has a natural gap. It is supported by the posterior tibial tendon. This helps in balance, and supports the foot. Some people are born without an arch or a very slight one. In other, sometimes, the arch falls or collapses later in life. It is also referred to as overpronation.
What causes flat feet?
- Weak arches
- An injury to the foot or ankle
- Injury to posterior tibial tendon
- Muscle diseases like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida
- Fused bones
- Weakening of arch tendon as you age
Here is an easy way to check for flat feet
- Wet your feet.
- Make an imprint of your feet on a flat surface where the footprint will show.
- If you’ve left a complete imprint of your feet, you may be flat footed.
When should flat feet be treated?
Many people may go through their lives with flat feet and experience no discomfort. In children, depending on the severity of the flat feet, treatment may be recommended at a young age. If severe flat foot is untreated, it may lead to different types of pain and foot deformities later in life, like:-
- Knee and ankle pain
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the foot
- Misalignment of hips and spine
- Plantar fasciitis
- Stress fractures.
Treatment for flat feet
Depending on the severity of the problem, the doctor may recommend any of these methods.
These shoes are designed with a raised area where the arch will rest, and help the development of arches in children, if worn regularly.
Sometimes, an insert will be given which can be used in a normal shoe. These can be over the counter insoles or customized orthotics, which have designed arch supports.
This is a supportive device which takes stress off the posterior tibial tendon and reduces inflammation and pain.
In rare cases of fused bones or very severe overpronation, surgery may be required.