Flat feet are also known as pes planus or fallen arches.
What are flat feet? Well in some people they have no arch on the sole of their foot, the base of the foot collapses. The entire sole of your foot comes into contact with the ground.
The arch of the foot does not develop in one or both feet, most flat feet cause no problems at all, but if they do you need to seek advice from your Podiatrist. Flat feet can also be hereditary.
Flat feet in children are quite common because of the baby fat on the foot, but the arch is usually not developed yet. The arch develops in children as part of normal growth like muscles and bones. Parents should look out to see if their children are walking properly and not oddly, or that they are not walking on the outer edges of the foot. If children complain about calf muscle pain or discomfort in the foot area they could be developing flat feet. If the feet are still growing it may be possible that a lasting arch can be created.
Flat feet can develop in adults too, sometimes from injury or illness such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy. Also the normal ageing process. Stress to the feet or faulty biomechanics. If you get flat feet it generally remains flat permanently because the muscle in the foot is short therefore exercise will make no difference.
Diagnosis and treatment for flat feet
You will need to see your podiatrist to get a proper diagnosis for flat feet. There is often foot or lower leg pain, and often affects the knees or lower back. In cases of severe flat feet orthotics should be prescribed by your podiatrist.
Orthotics for flat feet should be used through a gradual process to lessen the discomfort. The small changes allow the feet to adjust gradually. As well as given you time to get used to wearing the orthotics. Once orthotics are prescribed you’ll probably wear them for the rest of your life.
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