Having flat feet is a deformity that occurs when the arch of the foot collapses and comes into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. In your formative years, you don’t have a foot arch yet, once you start standing and walking your arch usually develops gradually. In some adults, the arch never develops. Alternatively, some people can develop a foot arch that falls due to other conditions. There are two general types of flat feet, flexible and rigid. If you believe you may be suffering from either, we urge you to get in touch with one of our Beyond Podiatry locations today.


Causes of Flat Feet

Flat feet usually develop with pronation, which means your ankle bones turn inward. Pronation is especially common in children. When adults develop this condition, it may be connected to an underlying disease. For example, rheumatoid arthritis can wear down the cartilage and ligaments in your foot, which then causes your arches to sink. Diabetic nerve damage, posterior tibial tendon damage, and sudden leg or ankle trauma can also cause flat feet. This condition may be hereditary as well.

Signs of Flat Feet

While flat feet can usually be self-diagnosed, the underlying cause may require investigation by your podiatrist. This may involve a visual exam as well as imaging tests to evaluate the structure of the foot. First, you’ll discuss whether you’re having any symptoms like foot pain or easily tired feet. The podiatrist will check your leg and foot movement by having you stand on your toes and perform other basic motions. Additionally, your podiatrist may perform a hands-on exam to check your tendons and muscles.

Treatment Options

Flat feet treatments are customized for you. Not all cases require treatment, particularly in kids who have no obvious symptoms. In severe cases, you may need surgery to correct your feet, especially if an underlying condition has caused tendon, ligament, or bone damage. If you’re having symptoms or need treatment due to an underlying condition, your treatment may include:

  • Oral medication
  • Taping your foot
  • Bracing your foot
  • Custom orthotics