If the only thing you know about flat feet is that they’ll keep you out of the military, you’ve got a lot to learn. For one thing, that’s a myth.
While it might have been the case once upon a time, it’s not necessarily true now. It is true that flat feet can lead to all sorts of problems with the feet, ankles and back. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There’s plenty we can do to help support the feet and avoid problems.
Feet are considered flat when the arch is flattened or the foot pronates excessively when you stand.
If you’ve ever walked down the beach and noticed your footprints don't have any area that don't touch the sand or no space in the arch, you could have flat feet.
You might not experience any pain or problems or you might experience pain in the heel or arch area, ankle swelling or a difficulty standing on your tippy toes or for long periods of time.
Some people are just born with flat feet, while others have normal arches that gradually flatten over time. Acquired flatfoot can be the result of
- A particularly tight Achilles tendon
- Abnormal sitting or sleeping positions when you were little
- The general wear and tear that comes with age
- By trying to compensate for other leg or foot problems
- If you’re obese, you are also at a higher risk of developing flatfeet.
It’s important to note that kids don’t typically develop arches until about age four, so if your child’s feet are flat, there’s probably nothing to worry about while they are young.
Because children grow so rapidly, you need a quality, but inexpensive way to treat their feet. Little Steps are a great option.
However, if you have flat feet, your children are prone to develop them, so keep an eye out.
This is extremely important, as you can prevent them from the aches and pains you are currently experiencing.
For adults, flat feet will lead to pronation, which is a fancy name for the foot rolling inward as you walk and over-pronation, which is really bad pronation.
The body is a well-oiled machine and every single little piece of you is designed to work with another piece of you.
So when something like the alignment of your ankles is thrown off, it impacts just about everything. The bones in the feet can actually shift over time, and the muscles and tendons in the leg and ankle will twist.
This can lead to a wide array of conditions including:
- plantar fasciitis,
- plantar fibroma,
- heel spurs,
- shin splints,
- ankle sprains,
- calluses, and
- pain in the arches, knee, hip and lower back.
That’s not a pretty list, right? The good news is that these things don’t have to happen. Call our office for an appointment and we’ll help you avoid this litany of foot issues.
For patients that have or are developing flat feet that are causing pain, our first course of action is to figure out what’s causing the arches to flatten. We’ll examine your feet, how you walk and stand, and may take an X-ray to get a better look.
Most patients with flat feet react well to non-invasive treatments like orthotics, shoe recommendations, anti-inflammatory medications, bracing for chronic conditions and exercises designed to strengthen the foot. In most cases, the orthotics need to be custom-made to fit your feet to really help the problem, so we don’t recommend just picking some up at Walgreen’s. Think of those as ‘foot pillows.’
Surgery is rarely necessary but may be an option for severe cases that do not respond to more conservative treatments.
Hyprocure surgery is also available by Dr. Amy Barko, our podiatiatric surgeon.
If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment
Accepted Insurance Providers
There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.