Do You Have Flat Feet?

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Most people have a gap under the arch of their foot when they are standing. The arch, the inner part of the foot is slightly raised off the ground. People with flat feet or fallen arches either have no arch, or it is very low.

The feet of people with fallen arches may roll over to the inner side when they are standing or walking, known as over pronation. The feet may point outward.

What exactly are flat feet?

If there is no space under the arch, the person has flat feet.

In a person with fallen arches, one or both feet may be flat on the ground, and shoes may wear unevenly, especially on one side, or they may wear out more quickly than usual.

Many people with fallen arches have no symptoms, but some may experience pain in their feet and even their back, depending on the cause.

Some people have an uneven distribution of body weight and find that the heel of their shoes wears out more rapidly and more on one side than the other.

The most common symptom of flat feet is pain. Pain may occur in the feet, if the connecting ligaments and muscles are strained.

• Inner side of the ankle, and possibly swelling
• Arch of the foot
• Calf
• Knee
• Hip
• Back
• Lower leg area

There may also be stiffness in one or both feet.

People with flat feet who do not experience pain or other symptoms do not usually need to consult a doctor. However, if any of the following conditions arise, medical advice should be sought:

• The fallen arches, or flat feet, have developed recently
• There is pain in the feet, ankles or lower limbs
• Symptoms do not improve with supportive, well-fitted shoes
• One or both feet are becoming flatter
• The feet feel rigid or stiff, or heavy and unwieldy
• Treatment, exercises, and complications

Insoles or orthotics, – devices that can be inserted into the shoe to support, align, prevent and improve foot function– relieve pressure from the arch and reduce pain if the feet roll too far inwards.
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Complications of flat feet or fallen arches

Examples include:
• Achilles tendinitis
• Arthritis in the ankle or ankles
• Arthritis in the foot or feet
• Bunions
• Hammertoes
• Plantar fasciitis, where pain and inflammation occur in the ligaments in the soles of the feet
• Posterior tibial tendinitis
• Shin splints

The bottom line is that you can control your foot pain, and there are professionals out there qualified to help you do it.

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