What are they?
flat foot condition exists when there is a marked flattening or lowering of
the longitudinal arch. The foot actually appears collapsed in the midsection
area and during walking or standing. It seems rolled-in so that the inside
of the foot contacts the ground. These patients will frequently complain of
wearing out or breaking down their shoes rapidly because of the foot
position. Common symptoms or complaints from patients with flat feet
include fatigue, cramping, bunions, corns, calluses, shin splints and heel
pain. It should be noted however, that not all flat feet are problems, nor
do they all require treatment. Pain should be the number one motivating
force to seek treatment. Congenital flat feet or those present at birth
frequently are not clinical problems while those developed over time often
need additional consideration. Particular concerns are those feet that have
a normal appearing arch during non-weight bearing periods but assume a more
flattened appearance during standing. These feet are frequently excessively
pronating or rolling-in at the arch and are the ones that most often produce
What causes them?
possible causes of flat feet comprise a lengthy list. As mentioned earlier,
a congenital type or one present at birth may well reflect a developmental
embryonic condition. Certain types of flat feet are considered acquired and
develop later in life possible due to injury, anatomic abnormalities or
various arthritic conditions. Perhaps, the most frequently seen type of
flat foot and the one potentially most problematic is that of the
excessively pronated foot. This foot type results from faulty mechanics
during walking and standing periods and has the capability of causing a host
of secondary problems if not managed properly.
cases, the treatment of the pronated flat foot involves prescribed orthotics
or foot and ankle supportive devices. These effectively reduce the
in-rolling tendency and help to support the foot and ankle during gait.
Other less frequently used approaches in the management of various flat
foot conditions include shoe modifications, injections, oral
anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and if all else fails and
the pain persists, surgery. A foot specialist will carefully evaluate this
condition in order to identify its probable type, cause and to select the
most effective therapy plan available.