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Flat feet is a condition in which you have little to no arch in your feet. When you stand, there should be a gap between the inner part of your feet and the floor. If your arch does not slightly raise off the ground, you likely have flat feet. While some people have no issues with flat feet, many with this condition experience pain and discomfort.
Flat feet may cause pain due to strained muscles and connecting ligaments. Those without flat feet get support by the spring a normal arch provides to help to distribute body weight while walking. When the arch is no longer present, excessive pressure is placed on the muscles and ligaments in your feet. This strain is what causes pain. While many children may appear to have flat feet, their arches generally develop normally over time.
People develop flat feet for many reasons. Certain genetic factors can be passed down from parents. Weak arches, a foot or ankle injury, arthritis, or a muscle or nervous system disease may also be culprits. Tarsal coalition, a condition that causes foot bones to fuse, may also play a part in developing flat feet. Other common factors include diabetes and obesity.
To manage flat-foot discomfort, we recommend stretching and exercises to ease your pain. Heel cord stretches are a great way to stretch your Achilles tendon and help loosen up your calf muscles that are often strained due to flat feet. Rolling a golf ball back and forth on the floor while seated is another great stretch, especially for your plantar fascia ligament.
Treating flat feet or fallen arches includes plenty of rest, frequently icing the affected area to reduce swelling, and performing daily stretches to loosen muscles and relieve strain. It’s also wise to look into orthotics or shoe inserts to help relieve pain.
If you or someone you know has flat feet, we can help.
A Physicians Footcare podiatrist will thoroughly examine your feet to provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Request your appointment now.
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