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Flat Feet

What are flat feet?

Generally, people have an arch in their feet which creates a small gap beneath the inner part of the foot when a person stands. People with flat feet do not have the same gap, and instead, their entire foot lays flat when they stand. This condition is sometimes referred to as fallen arches.

Arches help to distribute body weight and they help to determine how a person stands and walks. People with flat feet sometimes roll their feet to the insides when they’re standing, which can cause feet to point outwards. Often, people with flat feet will feel little to no pain. However, others may experience a number of symptoms.

What causes flat feet?

Flat feet in children is normal as it takes time for arches to develop. However, in some cases, arches never develop and children are left with flat feet. For people with families who have a history of flat feet, they are more likely to also have fallen arches.

Athletes and those who are physically active are also more likely to have flat feet as a result of a foot or ankle injury. Muscle diseases may also cause flat feet.

What are symptoms of flat feet?

Strained muscles and ligaments in flat feet can often cause pain while standing or walking. While fallen arches can create foot pain, they also affect other parts of the body including:

  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Lower Back
  • Lower legs

These parts of the body are likely affected due to unusual stress on the joints.

How are flat feet treated?

There are a variety of ways to treat flat feet including using orthotic inserts to support the fallen arches, exercises, medication, and even foot surgery in the most serious cases.