In flatfeet, the arches on the inside of feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of feet to touch the floor when stand up. A common and usually painless condition, flatfeet can occur when the arches don’t develop during childhood. In other cases, flatfeet develop after an injury or from the simple wear-and-tear stresses of age.
Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of legs. If no pain, no treatment is usually necessary for flatfeet.
Most people have no signs or symptoms associated with flatfeet, but some people with flatfeet experience foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area, pain may worsen with activity, swelling along the inside of the ankle can also occur.
- A flat foot is normal in infants and toddlers, because the foot’s arch hasn’t yet developed, some children have flexible flatfoot, in which the arch is visible when the child is sitting or standing on tiptoes, but disappears when the child stands. Most children outgrow flexible flatfoot without problems.
- Arches can also fall over time. Years of wear and tear can weaken the tendon that runs along the inside of ankle and helps support arch.
Risk factors – Obesity, injury to your foot or ankle, rheumatoid arthritis, aging, diabetes
- Stretching exercises. Some people with flatfeet also have a shortened Achilles tendon. Exercises to stretch this tendon may help.
- Supportive shoes. A structurally supportive shoe might be more comfortable than sandals or shoes with minimal support.
- Arch supports (orthotic devices). Over-the-counter arch supports may help relieve the pain caused by flatfeet. Or might suggest custom-designed arch supports, which are molded to the contours of feet. Arch supports won’t cure flatfeet, but they often reduce symptoms.
Shockwave therapy or Class IV LASER might help in this condition.