Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, occur when the arches on the inside of your foot are flattened, which then allow the entire sole of your foot to touch the floor as you stand. Flat feet are quite common and can develop for a variety of reasons. If left untreated, however, you may develop other issues. From body alignment to gait issues to debilitating pain, flat foot problems should be corrected in a timely manner.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Although flat foot problems can occur in childhood, most flat feet develop in adulthood due to excessive stress on your feet. For example, failing to treat a foot injury. Some common excessive stresses that may lead to flat feet include:
- Weakened foot, ankle and lower leg muscles due to excessive weight gain or aging.
- Standing or walking for prolonged periods of time in heels.
- Wearing shoes with inadequate arch support or shoes that are uncomfortable.
- Severe foot injuries that go untreated, including ankle sprains or broken bones in the feet.
How to Tell if You Have Flat Feet
You do not have to wait for special scans or diagnostic equipment to determine whether you have flat feet. Instead, you can do a quick and simple test at home. First, wet your feet. Then, stand normally on a flat surface where you can see the imprint of your wet feet, such as a piece of paper or on a sidewalk. Step away carefully and look at your footprint. If you do not see the curve of your foot or the entire bottom of your foot is showing, you have flat feet.
Treatments and Options for Flat Feet
Over time, flat feet can cause the bones inside your feet to collapse. You could suffer from heel spurs, ankle and knee joint pain and even lower back and hip pain. Chronic foot problems can also lead to painful arthritis.
Some ways to treat flat feet include:
- Shoes – Wearing proper-fitting shoes that are comfortable and supportive is key. These will help stabilize the heel and support your arch.
- Wraps or Inserts – You can add extra support to your shoes, especially if the shoe is lacking in arch support, by using wraps. These alleviate the pain associated with flat feet and help you stand for longer periods of time.
- Orthotics – Custom orthotics distribute the weight evenly and minimize pressure on your foot. They can also provide additional arch support and realign your ankle. Orthotics that are custom-fitted to the design of your feet for maximum support are ideal and highly recommended rather than over-the-counter products.
To give your flat feet the treatment and care of custom orthotics, call the foot doctors at Comfort Stride today at 647-989-7794 to book an appointment with our specialists.