Flat Feet  New York, NY

Flat Feet

Flat foot is a condition where the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened which causes the sole of the foot to touch the floor when standing upright. It is likely for flat feet to be caused by the arches not fully developing during childhood and is considered a very common and painless condition. On the other hand, flat feet can occur after an injury or from the normal aging process.

While it is common not to experience any pain or symptoms of flat feet, some people do tend to sense pain in the heel or arch area. Physical activity can irritate the area and inflame the foot along the inside of the ankle. This can be caused by the tendon that is supporting the arch being stretched as it is depreciating.

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What are flat feet?

Flat feet, or fallen arches, describe a condition where the arch of your foot is in contact with the ground rather than forming a supportive arch in the center of your foot. The arch is an important support mechanism for your entire body as well as your feet, and if it lacks or loses strength and collapses downward, the resulting change in the bony framework of your foot can cause pain and mobility issues.

Having flexible flat feet means your arch appears normal when the foot isn’t bearing weight, only flattening out when you stand. If you have rigid flatfeet, there’s no curvature of the arch regardless of whether you’re bearing weight or not.

Flattened arches create a strain on the joints in your foot that can cause pain, and may affect joints higher up in your body such as your knees, hips, and spine.

What causes flatfeet?

Some people with flat feet are born with the condition, but it can also develop as a result of:

  • Overuse
  • Running on hard surfaces
  • Not using sufficiently supportive footwear
  • Overstressing your foot
  • Arthritis
  • Acute injury
  • Poor foot biomechanics
  • Pronation (excessive inward rolling of your feet)
  • Obesity
  • Musculoskeletal disorders

Children’s feet are flat when they’re born, but normally develop an arch as they mature. If the arch doesn’t develop, your child could experience pain in their back and joints, which the podiatrists at City Podiatry can diagnose and treat.

Some people don’t experience any problems despite having flat feet, and therefore don’t require treatment. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of pain, discomfort, or reduced mobility, you should visit City Podiatry for an assessment.

What treatments are available for flatfeet?

Exercises to stretch the Achilles tendon can help build up strength in your feet.

In general, conservative treatments are tried first such as:

  • Wearing supportive shoes
  • Physical therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Losing weight
  • Avoiding activities that cause symptoms
  • Applying ice packs or cooling gel
  • Using anti-inflammatory medication

In some cases, conservative treatment options don’t reduce symptoms sufficiently, in which case surgery may be the best option. Potential procedures that can correct the problems caused by flatfeet include:

  • Joint fusions
  • Tendon transfers
  • Osteotomies (bone cutting)

Your podiatrist can advise you which would be the most suitable approach in your case after reviewing X-rays of your feet and performing a biomechanical exam.

If your flat feet are causing pain or affecting your mobility, call City Podiatry or schedule an appointment online today.