Do you have flat feet? If you are unsure, there is an easy test that you can take. Just wet your feet and then stand on a bathroom tile or concrete sidewalk, or any flat surface that will show your footprint. If you can see the shape of your whole foot rather than just a portion, then you have flat feet.
The foot’s arch has several important jobs, including absorbing lots of force during weight–bearing activities like walking and running. When the tendons that help form the arch pull together the right way, the foot will show a moderate arch. However, in those with flat feet, the arch collapses with weight–bearing so the entire sole is in touch with the ground.
Many of those with flat feet are born with this condition and it tends to run in families. Other causes include damaged tendons, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve problems and trauma such as a fracture. Weakened tendons, for example caused by pregnancy or the wear and tear of aging, can also cause flat feet.
Symptoms and Treatment for Flat Feet
Many individuals with flat feet have no symptoms, but others experience:
- Pain and aches in the heels and arches
- Feet that tire easily
- Difficulty standing on the toes
- Leg, hip and back pain
- Swollen soles
If you have no pain, you can continue your normal activities but avoid participating in high impact sports like basketball and running on hard surfaces. However, if you are experiencing pain and you must limit your activities, we can give you relief.
Non–invasive therapies that will reduce pain and other symptoms from flat feet include:
- Icing the area
- Stretching exercises
- Physical therapy
- Anti–inflammatory medication, with your doctor’s permission
- Custom orthotics to support the arch
If your pain is severe or the foot is damaged, we may discuss surgical solutions with you.
Children and Flat Feet
It’s very common for a baby’s feet to be flat. You’ll see the arches begin to develop by age 2 or 3.You should, however, keep an eye on your child’s feet and watch for any gait changes such as limping or walking clumsily. Excessive fatigue or pain during long walks may be a warning sign that something is wrong. If you have any concern about your child’s feet, walking habits or arch development, we’d be happy to help!
Cornerstone Foot & Ankle is a full service foot and ankle specialty office with locations in Sewell, Cherry Hill, Marlton, Mt. Holly, Woodbury, and Glassboro; serving the South Jersey region. We offer a full suite of services including surgery, fracture care, fungal nail care, diabetic foot care, pediatric podiatry, custom braces and orthotics, wound care, limb salvage, and treatments for arch pain, heel pain, and sports injuries; just to name a few. If it hurts below your knee, we can help you! CALL NOW or request your appointment online TODAY!