Flat Feet

This article does not constitute as medical advice.
If you are experiencing symptoms of flat feet, contact your doctor or make an appointment.

What are Flat Feet?

The soles of the feet have an arch that prevents most of the soles from touching the ground as you stand and walk. The arch helps in better balance and posture; and causes less strain on the knees, hips, ankles, and feet. When the arch of the foot is lower than normal, it is called flat feet or pes planus. Everyone is born with flat feet, and arches begin to develop in early childhood. This condition may be genetic for some, while for others, it may gradually develop over the course of life. Having flat feet is typically painless, however, when you are experiencing pain in your feet, ankles, knees, or hips, treatment is necessary.

Causes of Flat Feet

  • Arches do not develop during childhood
  • Arches fall due to injury such as tearing ligaments in the foot. Lisfranc injury occurs in the middle of the foot and is a common injury that leads to a flattened foot. This can occur from a sprain, fracture, or dislocation
  • As you age, the tendon along the inside of your foot can wear down after years of overuse
  • Conditions like arthritis
  • Footwear with poor arch support

Symptoms of Flat Feet

  • Pain and discomfort are typically not felt
  • The arch of the foot is very close to the ground or touches the ground
  • Shoes when kept next to each other turn inwards
  • Tired feet that are especially fatigued along the inside of the foot
  • Pain in your foot, knee, hip, or ankle.
  • Symptoms that don’t improve with arch-supporting shoes

Treating Flat FeetĀ 

  • Icing your feet when they feel irritated or swollen along the arch of the foot.
  • Simple foot stretching and strengthening exercises such as heel cord stretching and rolling a golf ball under the arch
  • Physiotherapy
  • Kinesio taping the foot along the transverse arches. Watch this video as a reference on how to tape your foot!
  • Wedge or heel support in footwear.
  • Wear stability shoes for running shoes and get fitted at a specialty running store with knowledgeable staff.
  • Customized orthotic inserts for footwear. You can find over-the-counter arch inserts here.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in prescribed amounts
  • Call our office if the pain is especially intense and does not disappear with home treatments
  • In very severe cases, surgery is recommended for correction or repair of the tendons that support the arch.
Normal foot, hollow foot, and flat foot images

Experiencing Symptoms?

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