Flat feet are very common and are typically painless – for most. Occasionally, flat feet can be a symptom of other problems in your foot’s bone structure, tendons, or an underlying medical condition. If your flat feet are causing pain or other difficulties, it’s time to call Heiden Orthopedics. Dr. Feria-Arias is our orthopedic surgeon focusing on foot and ankle disorders, and he can diagnose and treat conditions related to flat feet.
What are flat feet?
The arches of your feet support your body weight and distribute it across your feet. Flat feet are often characterized by having a very low arch or no arch at all. When you are standing up, the inside edge of your foot may contact the ground. Without the proper support of your arches, your feet may even lean inward and cause problems with posture, stance, and movement. Some people have naturally low arches and do not experience any adverse side effects, but pain or improper posture can lead to negative long-term effects.
What causes flat feet?
Like many other conditions, flat feet can be present from birth or develop over time. There are many causes of flat feet, including:
- Genetic factors
- Injuries to the foot or ankle
- Rupturing the tendon in your arch, or the posterior tibial tendon
- Weakened tendons or bones due to old age, obesity, or pregnancy
- Certain medical conditions like arthritis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or others
Flat feet are typically diagnosed using a simple visual examination. Other tests may be run if the doctor suspects other medical conditions could be present, so as to treat the root cause.
What treatments are available for flat feet?
In some mild cases, certain stretches or exercises may be able to treat mild discomfort and strengthen the muscles in the feet and legs. Well-fitting shoes with arch support or other accommodations may relieve discomfort and promote better posture.
If a medical condition or injury is causing your flat feet, treating any related conditions often improves symptoms. In some cases when a ruptured tendon or bone deformity are present, surgery may be required for long-term relief.
How can I prevent flat foot from developing?
Preventing flat feet can be as simple as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your legs and feet, and can prevent certain other medical conditions from developing. Regularly completing any prescribed stretches or exercises can keep symptoms at bay and reduce the chances of your condition worsening. Wear supportive shoes, especially when running or performing other high-impact activities. Lastly, seek medical attention when you experience discomfort. Early treatment can help you avoid surgery.
Why should I go to Heiden Orthopedics for flat feet?
Heiden Orthopedics is a trusted local resource for all things related to bone and joint health. Dr. Feria-Arias is our foot and ankle specialist with extensive training, education, and experience. He can accurately diagnose flat feet in addition to any contributing medical conditions and recommend comprehensive care to get you back on your feet, both literally and figuratively.