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Flat Feet

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Flat feet are more common than you might think. Around one-third of the population has this condition, and it is typically nothing to be concerned about. However, if you are experiencing pain due to your flat feet, it may be time to seek intervention and treatment from Eastern Idaho Foot Clinic.

What Are Flat Feet?

An ordinary foot has an arch that doesn’t touch the ground when you walk. This is why you only see the toes and heel in a footprint. The arch sometimes collapses, creating a condition called flat feet. 

Having flat feet is a common occurrence and for many people, it isn’t really an issue. However, for some people, flat feet can become problematic, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet at home or work. 

Flat feet can place more pressure on the foot’s ligaments, the elastic tissue between your joints. The pain can feel like stretching and straining on the bottom of your foot. Flat feet are less flexible and are more prone to cramping.

Causes of Flat Feet

Flat feet can occur at birth, during childhood, or later in adulthood. The change can be sudden, such as after an injury, or it can develop over time alongside other health conditions. Some of the most common causes of flat feet are as follows:

  • Aging
  • Congenial disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severe injury

Flat Feet Treatment Options

Flat feet can cause pain and visible symptoms such as cramping, muscle fatigue, or a change in gait. Fortunately, there are many powerful treatments that can provide relief. It’s best to see a podiatrist before attempting any sort of treatment, but it’s definitely possible to repair your arches and reduce your discomfort from home. Here are five of the most helpful methods to try:

  • Get regular foot massages or soak your feet in a foot spa.
  • Purchase over-the-counter orthotic insoles from your local pharmacy or have some custom-made by your podiatrist.
  • Take over-the-counter or prescribed non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to alleviate inflammation and pain.
  • Try stretching exercises that loosen muscles and tendons around the foot.
  • Use ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • Wear sensible and comfortable shoes with excellent arch support.

If the above methods don’t mitigate the pain caused by flat feet, your podiatrist may recommend physical therapy or even surgery. These options are only suggested in severe cases where pain persists and worsens over a period of time.

FAQs About Flat Feet

Flat feet can be painful and affect your life in various ways. Here are some common questions:

How can flat feet affect my quality of life?

Not everyone with flat feet experiences pain, but for those who do, it can be unbearable. Tasks like exercising, grocery shopping, or mowing the lawn can cause a great deal of discomfort. You may even become dependent on others to help you complete your daily activities.

How do I know if I have flat feet?

The arch of your foot collapses when you have flat feet. There are several ways to check if you have loose arches. Stand up straight and look at the sides of your feet. If there is space between the floor and the arch of your foot, you do not have flat feet. 

Another way to check is to place your foot in paint, snow, or sand and make an imprint. You do not have flat feet if you have a gap between the toes and heel. If you see a fully formed footprint, then you do.

What should I do about my flat feet? 

If you are not in pain, there is no need to seek treatment for flat feet. However, if you are experiencing any discomfort, you should reach out to a podiatrist to help you determine the severity of your situation. Implementing at-home methods with medical guidance and supervision can make a world of difference.

See a Podiatrist

Contact Eastern Idaho Foot Clinic today for flat feet help and guidance. With expert assistance, you can reduce the pain of flat feet, improve muscle strength and flexibility, and walk better than you ever imagined.