If you wet your feet and then stand on a concrete sidewalk, do you see the shape of your whole foot in the footprint? If so then you have flat feet.
Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, result when the arch of the foot collapses as you stand so that the entire foot’s sole is in contact with the ground. This foot abnormality can be painful and can also cause ankle and knee problems because of changed leg alignment.
Your arches have an important job – to spread the force of weight-bearing activities so that it’s absorbed within the foot before reaching the legs. The arch is formed from tendons connecting the heel and foot bones. When they pull together the right way, the foot shows a moderate arch. If the tendons don’t function correctly, the result is a flat foot.
Symptoms and Causes of Flat Feet
You can have flat feet and not have any symptoms, but it’s common to experience:
- Achy, painful arches and heels
- Feet that tire easily
- Feet that are swollen in the sole area
- Difficulty standing on toes
- Leg and back pain
Sometimes people are born with flat feet. Other causes include:
- Damaged tendons
- Broken bones
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve issues
Another risk factor is weakening tendons from the wear and tear of aging as well as obesity and pregnancy.
Consult with a Qualified Foot Doctor for Diagnosis and Treatment of Flat Feet
Come see our board certified podiatrists at Your Next Step if you suspect that you have flat feet, or if you have pain or problems with your daily activities.
During our examination, we’ll review your medical history for injury or illness. We’ll watch your gait and have you push up on your toes, and assess your muscle strength. We may order x-rays or ultrasound right here in our Ardmore and Paoli, PA offices, or further tests like an MRI or CT scan.
If you don’t have any pain or problems, no treatment is necessary but we will monitor your condition as you continue your normal activities – but avoid running on hard surfaces or high-impact sports.
To reduce any pain and other symptoms we will discuss:
- Icing and rest
- Stretching exercises
- Orthotics for arch support as well as braces and shoe modifications
- Physical therapy
- Oral or injected anti-inflammatory medication
- Possible surgery if your pain is severe
We carry full lines of stylish and comfortable shoes designed for those with flat feet in our Ardmore shoe store. You need a shoe with more support and a stiff, solid sole.
Call us at 610-642-8837 or leave a note on our website for help with flat feet. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen will assess your feet and gait and discuss treatment solutions with you. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you flat!