The flattened arches on the inside of your feet indicate that you have flat feet. This leads to the entire soles touching the floor while standing. This is quite a common condition that does not cause any pain. The flat feet are due to the arches not developing during childhood. This type of feet can also develop after an injury or due to age.
You need to be aware that flat feet can be the culprit to different problems in your knees and ankle. Normally, there is no treatment required for flat feet.
Some Symptoms of Flat Feet
Most of the people with flat feet do not face any problems, but there are quite a few who experience pain in the arch and the heels. This pain can get intolerable during the night time, especially if you have been active on your feet. There is also a possibility of swelling in the ankles. Flat feet do lead to feet fatigue as the arch does not support soft tissues.
Flat Feet in Older Adults
With the normal wear and tear over a period of time, older adults are prone to developing fallen arches. This can work out dangerous for the elderly as flat feet can lead to falls or slips. They might experience a low quality of life as older adults experience more pain due to flat feet.
Risks associated with Flat Feet
Flat feet are risky in more than one way. Obesity is one major risk for children and also adults. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, and aging can also lead to developing flat feet.
Causes of Flat Feet
The causes of flat feet are different in children as compared to adults.
Flat feet in children are caused by
a)Laxity of ligaments
- b) Heredity
- c) Lack of exercise of the foot
- d) Achilles Tendon tight
The arches of a child start developing right from infancy and progress arches over a period of time.
As mentioned, adults can develop flat feet due to an injury, abnormal formation of the joint, tight Achilles tendon, age, or stress on the foot.
a)Coalition of the joints of the rear foot
- b) Arthritis
- c) Achilles Equinus contracture
- d) Pregnancy
- f) Obesity
- g) Age
- h) Fracture or Injury
- i) Marfan Syndrome
- j) Injured or failed tendons
There is a risk of the ankles rolling with fallen arches as there is not enough support on the ankle bone or the inside of the foot. The other problems associated with flat feet are shin splints, bunions, and injuries related to sports. Runners and athletes might experience severe symptoms with the passing of time.
Diagnosing Flat Feet
The consulting doctor might have to examine the mechanics of the patient’s foot from the side and the front and the back. The patient is asked to stand on his/her toes as closely as possible. For those suffering from pain, specific tests are carried out for evaluating the condition. These tests include MRI, CT Scans, ultrasound, and x-rays.
The Required Treatment
Most often, those suffering from flat feet are able to align themselves in a manner so that they do not experience any symptoms. For those who experience pain, there are options for multiple treatments. You can choose supportive braces, orthos, physical therapy, pain killers, stretching and in severe cases, you can choose surgery.
To compensate for the arch support, you can wear supportive inserts.
Choosing Shoes for Flat Feet
The right kind of shoes is important for those suffering from flat feet. This needs to be the type that supports fallen arches. Without the right kind of support, there are chances of inflammation in the delicate tissue and over a period of time, the tendons might tear. Foot pain can lessen if you are able to stabilize the heel. This can also reduce the risk of any injury. The best possible choice is choosing shoes with a heel cup that is deep.
Surgery for Flat Feet
Surgery works as a low-risk solution that is permanent for flat feet. You need to be aware that the recovery process of this surgery is long-lasting and there are chances of you developing blood clots during this time. A qualified and experienced professional will normally advise on alternative treatments instead of surgery.
Stretches for Flat Feet
At times, those with fallen arches, also have Achilles tendons that are short. There are specific exercises that can be done for stretching the tendon and bring down the chance of any injury. This can also lead to an improvement in the condition.
You can also seek help from a physical therapist as he/she can advise you on how to improve the running technique.
This flat foot can be a disadvantage for many, but finding a suitable specialist can help you lead a normal, quality life like the rest.