Flexible flat feet are typified by the disappearance of your arch upon weight bearing, and the return of your arch after you pick your foot up. It generally begins in childhood and affects both feet, with the possibility of severe complications developing into adulthood if it is left untreated.
Potential complications of flexible flat feet include:
- Soft tissue damage—Tendons and ligaments in the arch can stretch over time causing inflammation and possible tearing.
- Bunions and hammertoes—are more likely to develop when arches are not properly supported for any length of time.
- Pain and discomfort—in the arch, ankle, heel or on the outside of the foot along the peroneus longus and brevis tendons.
- Lower back problems—The altered gait associated with flat feet can cause pain in the lower back, hips, and knees.Shin splints—These cause pain in the shin bone area.
- Achilles tendon damage—Flat feet can cause this tendon to tighten increasing the risk of an injury.
Treatments for flexible flat feet can be complicated due to the wide variation in the severity of each case. Some of your podiatrist’s recommendations to relieve pain and suffering may include the following:
- Ibuprofen or other pain relievers
- Losing weight to take some of the pressure off of your arches
- Orthotic inserts to realign the foot and support the arch
- Physical therapy
- Immobilization of the foot with a cast boot
If you are having issues with flat feet it is important to have a consultation with a foot specialist to fully and professionally assess the situation.
At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.