Auteur: Podiatre Montreal
Flat foot is a physical condition characterized by the collapse of the arch of the foot. It is a common condition and may not even cause any discomfort to the Patient. This disorder has no effect on the Patient’s speed of functioning. Flat feet may be caused by abnormal development that may worsen during pregnancy, or develop with age. However, not all cases are due to pregnancy or the Patient’s age. It is actually quite normal to see flat feet in children. In some cases, the flat foot will cause the ankle to turn inward, which can affect the knees or ankles. There are several corrective devices that can prevent, and in mild cases, correct complications caused by flat feet. Support shoes help reduce the problems associated with flat feet.
Pain related to the flat foot
Symptoms of flat feet include:
- one or two feet with a flat bottom;
- uneven wear of the soles;
- pain in the calf or leg;
- pain and swelling of the ankle that usually affects the inner side;
- General foot pain and discomfort, especially after long walks or standing for long periods of time.
Causes of flat foot
The human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, ligaments and tendons. This complex structure must be well aligned to form the arch of the foot. The arch is designed to evenly distribute the body weight supported by the foot.
Flat feet are common in infants because of excess baby fat in the foot, but feet should still develop normally. In some cases, the arch of the foot does not fully develop, which may be caused by wearing closed shoes during the growing period of the foot. This can also occur naturally. As a general rule, in cases where flat feet affect younger children, children will begin to walk strangely. The longer they walk, the more pronounced the problem will become. Often, these children will have a limp or may walk on the outside of their foot. Studies have shown that walking barefoot during the developmental stages of childhood will help the development of the arch of the foot. If a child complains of pain in the foot or calf, it could be the result of flat feet.
In the early stages of adult life, flat feet may be developed by injury, aging, prolonged stress on the foot, obesity, certain types of arthritis or may develop during pregnancy. Apart from corrective devices, there is little we can do once the foot is fully developed, but if the foot has not finished growing, there is always a chance that the arch of the foot will develop naturally.
Flat foot problems can also contribute to other foot problems. Tibial periostitis, bunions and hammertoes can be formed due to pressure from body weight that is not evenly distributed. Arthritis, Achilles tendonitis and inflammation of the ligaments can occur due to displaced pressure, a pressure that is caused by lack of support in the foot. However, problems can occur elsewhere in the body (in addition to just in the feet and ankles) because the condition disrupts the body’s overall alignment.
Flat foot treatment
In many cases, flat feet do not cause significant symptoms, but if the disease is causing discomfort, there are several ways to relieve it. Our podiatrist doctor can help determine the best course of action. Treatment for flat feet includes orthopedic inserts for flat feet, avoidance of sustained activity (accompanied by rest), some pain relievers, wedge heel insoles, weight loss and surgery (in cases where a tendon has been damaged). Orthotics and insoles for flat feet are an excellent starting point and provide very good support for the arch of the foot. Each case is different and unique, so seeking the advice of a Podiatrist will help you correct the problem quickly and prevent further damage to tendons and joints. It is important to talk to a Podiatrist sooner rather than later if you have symptoms.2021