Some people have a small gap underneath their arch while standing- meaning the inner part of their foot will be slightly raised off the ground. On the other hand, some people with flat feet or no arches can have very low or even no arches while standing. This is called flat feet or pes planus. In young children this can be completely normal and may resolve as the foot develops. However, this does not always happen and as a result, flat feet can become problematic and painful. If this occurs, it must be treated.
Some causes of flat feet may include aging, injuries, or medical conditions that can cause flat feet to develop. The most common symptom of flat feet is foot pain because connecting ligaments and muscles may be strained. Other pain symptoms may occur in the form of swelling in the arch area, back or hips, calf or knee, or general lower legs.
Many patients with flat feet may experience pain when walking for prolonged periods of time, running, and while participating in sports or activities. Your feet may even feel tired or ache after standing for a long time. This pain can not only occur in your feet but also in your ankles, knees and your back. This is due to alignment issues. Your ankles roll inward (pronation) which can cause pain and general discomfort. Your feet may feel tired or ache after standing for a long time. If your child is experiencing pain after sports, pain with standing or even ankle pain, they may have flat feet.
If you have any of the following symptoms you should be examined by a podiatrist: pain around the heel or arch region, ankle pain or instability, flat arches on weight bearing, or uneven shoe treads.
The good news is that flat feet is extremely common and there are many treatment options available that can help relieve any pain or discomfort you or your child may be experiencing. Treatment options many range from supportive shoes, custom orthotics and physical therapy just to name a few. If you are concerned about the possibility that you or your child may have flat feet, make an appointment at one of our convenient locations to get examined today!