Flatfeet is a term used to describe feet with minimal to no obvious arches. If you have flatfeet, when you stand, the entire soles of your feet touch the ground instead of part of the foot rising above ground level. Flatfeet occurs when the arches don’t develop during childhood. Flatfeet can also develop as a result from an accident injury or from wear and tear injuries.
A lot of people with the condition do not experience any symptoms, in which case, treatment isn’t necessary. For some people, flatfeet can cause alignment issues in the legs, which translates to ankle and knee problems. Common symptoms associated with flatfeet are pain in the heel or arch area of the foot and swelling along the inside of the ankle. These symptoms can get worse with physical activity.
To diagnose flatfeet, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor may also order an X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, or other type of imaging test to take a look inside your feet or legs.
Flatfeet treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. If you are experiencing significant symptoms, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments or lifestyle changes:
- Orthotic devices – Orthotics are shoe or heel inserts that help support the foot, ankles, legs, or back. There are a lot of over-the-counter arch supports available, but custom orthotics prescribed by a doctor can get you better results. Custom made orthotics are creates specifically for your feet and are designed to correct your alignment issue perfectly.
- Exercises – There are a lot of exercises that can help with tendon tightness in the foot. Stretching exercises can help make the tendon flexible, which can reduce symptoms associated with conditions like flatfeet.
- Supportive shoes – Structurally supportive shoes can be more comfortable than typical shoes. They can offer extra support so you experience less symptoms associated with flatfeet.
- Physical therapy – Flatfeet can cause issues for people who are highly active. For these individuals, physical therapy can help significantly. Physical therapists can teach you form and technique when playing sports so that you have minimal symptoms.
- Weight loss – Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce symptoms associated with flatfeet. Talk to your podiatrist about whether losing weight may help you with your symptoms.
Surgery is not a common procedure for flatfeet. However, flatfeet can develop as a result of an injury or cause other types of orthopedic issues to develop, such as damage to your tendon. You may need surgery to correct this type of issue.
Cincinnati Foot And Ankle Care
If you are experiencing any type of foot or ankle pain, the podiatrists at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care can help. We have a wealth of experience diagnosing and treating all types of foot and ankle conditions and injuries. With our help, you can get you back on your feet in no time.