WFAI Blog

Posts for tag: flat feet

By Wasatch Foot & Ankle Institute
November 30, 2016
Category: Podiatry
Tags: flat feet  

Flat FeetThe arch structure of our feet determines how we walk, which means our arches need to be both sturdy and flexible in order to adjust to different walking surfaces. For most people, their feet have a curve or an arch at the bottom that provides flexibility and shock absorption. But for the five percent of adults in the U.S. with flat feet, also known as fallen arches, the arches of their feet are either partially or completely collapsed.

One common type of flatfoot is adult-acquired flatfoot. It is caused by overstretching the tendon that supports the arch. Flexible flatfoot is also common and occurs when the foot is flat when standing, but returns to a normal arch in non-weight-bearing positions.

Factors that increase your risk of flat feet include:

  • Excess weight
  • Age
  • Injury to your foot or ankle
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Pregnancy

When to See Your Podiatrist

Most adults with a fallen arch experience little to no pain. For these patients, treatment is rarely necessary. Painful flatfoot, however, may be the sign of a congenital abnormality or an injury to the muscles and tendons of the foot. Pain can be severe, making it difficult to walk, wear shoes and perform simple everyday tasks. More than achy feet, flatfoot can also lead to other, more serious problems and pain for your ankles, knees, back and hips.

Common symptoms associated with flat feet Include:

  • Swelling along the inside of the ankle
  • Feet that tire easily or ache after standing for an extended period of time
  • A lack of mobility in your foot and difficulty standing on your toes
  • Sore, swollen feet; especially in the heel or arch of your foot

Steps Away from Flat Foot Pain Relief

If you are experiencing pain caused by flat feet, visit our practice for an evaluation. We can identify the cause of your pain and recommend the best treatments for your type of arch.

Talk with your podiatrist about the following treatment options:

  • Shoe inserts/ Orthotics
  • Shoe modifications
  • Rest and ice
  • Stretching exercises
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Surgery

Whether you were born with flat feet or you acquired fallen arches over time, if your flat feet are causing you pain or interfering with your day to day activities, visit our practice. We can work with you to determine the best treatment options to eliminate the pain, improve your mobility and get you back to the activities you love.

Foot and ankle problems in children often go unnoticed. Signs and symptoms can be subtle, and sometimes children can’t explain what’s wrong. But it’s important to protect growing feet and have problems checked out early.

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons offers five warning signs parents should watch for:

1. Your Kids Can’t Keep Up with Their Peers

If children lag behind in sports or backyard play, it may be because their feet or legs are tired. Fatigue is common when children have flat feet. The muscles in the feet and legs tire easily because the feet are not functioning as well as they should.

2. Children Voluntarily Withdraw from Activities they Usually Enjoy

If they are reluctant to participate, it may be due to heel pain — a problem often seen in children between the ages of 8 and 14. Repetitive stress from sports may cause muscle strain and inflammation of the growth plate, a weak area at the back of a child’s heel.

 3. They Don’t Want to Show You Their Feet

Children may feel pain or notice a change in the appearance of their feet or nails but don’t tell their parents because they fear a trip to the doctor’s office. Surgeons encourage parents to make a habit of inspecting their child’s feet starting at a young age. Look for any changes such as calluses, growths, skin discoloration, or redness and swelling around the toenails.

4. Your Child Often Trips and Falls

Repeated clumsiness may be a sign of in-toeing, balance problems or neuromuscular conditions.

5. The Child Complains of Pain

It is never normal for a child to have foot pain. Injuries may seem minor, but if pain or swelling last more than a few days, have your child’s foot examined.  A child with any of these signs or symptoms should be promptly examined by a foot and ankle surgeon for proper diagnosis and treatment.

References:
-http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/flatfeet/DS00449
-http://www.foothealthfacts.org/Content.aspx?id=1625
-http://www.wasatchfai.com/pediatric-patients.html