Flat Feet

flat-feetFlatfeet occur when the arches on the inside of the feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of the feet to touch the floor when people stand up. A common condition, flatfeet can occur when the arches don’t develop during childhood, due to a person’s genes, after an injury, due to neuromuscular conditions, or from the simple wear-and-tear stresses of age. Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in the ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of the legs.

Although some individuals do not experience any complications secondary to flatfeet, others may experience foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area. Pain may worsen with activity. Swelling along the inside of the ankle can also occur. Additionally, there can be damage and pain in the tendons and ligaments on the inside of the arch if the flatfoot problem is not addressed.

Some factors that can increase the risk of flatfeet include injury to the foot and ankle, Rheumatoid Arthritis, aging, foot deformities caused by diabetes, and obesity. Pain and injury may be worsened in people with flatfeet with the use of inappropriate shoes or with high impact exercises that place a great deal of pressure on the foot and ankle.

Treatment Options

When visiting a podiatric physician, imaging studies such as x-rays may be performed to evaluate and make sure that no fractures or other deformities are causing this condition. Additionally, other imaging studies such as MRIs and CTs may be used to identify different conditions in the foot. Possible treatments for flatfoot include shoe inserts, appropriate shoe gear, physical therapy for the conditions caused by flatfoot, and possibly oral medications to control the pain. The most important thing to remember is that if pain develops, this condition needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing problems associated with flatfeet, please contact Southwest Austin Foot & Ankle specialists to schedule an appointment with our doctors.

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