Flatfoot is a common disorder in which the arch of one or both feet flattens. It is easily identified, as the entire sole of the affected person’s foot touches the floor when they stand. While the condition itself is typically painless, it can cause problems elsewhere in the body due to the way it alters the alignment of the leg.
It is rare to find someone who walks with both feet in perfect alignment. Often we walk on the inside or outsides of our feet, or with our toes or heels rotated inward. These typical walking patterns can cause many problems not just with the feet but also for the whole body as the alignment of the feet sets the foundation for the whole body’s alignment.
Foot Pain and Problems
Also known as fallen arches, the condition of flat feet is characterized by a lack of appropriate arch in the inner foot. It can be a genetic condition or the result of improper body mechanics. Often the whole of the foot will contact the ground. Because a healthy foot is structurally able to support the weight of the body thanks to the bone structure that comprises the arch, a flat foot often is unable to properly support this weight and will cause extreme pressure in the joints above, such as the ankles, knees and hips.
One of the most common varieties of the disorder is flexible flatfoot, which begins in childhood.The arch will appear when the child is sitting down or on tiptoe, but disappears as soon as they put full standing pressure on the foot. While many children grow out of flexible flatfoot, for some in perpetuates into adulthood. It is also possible to acquire flatfoot as an adult, either by injury or as a result of diseases such as arthritis or diabetes.
If you have flat feet, you may also experience pain throughout the lower body and into the lower back. Orthotics can be prescribed to create a system of support for the body and surgery can also offer a more permanent solution. Contact us today to discuss which treatment option may be right for you.
If your arches have collapsed, make an appointment to see your podiatrist as soon as possible.Flatfeet may not be initially painful, but can cause serious wear and tear if left untreated.