Flatfoot is a condition in which your the bottom of your foot lacks a gentle upward curve and is straight-across or nearly touching the floor when you stand. All babies are born with flat feet, but typically arches develop over time. Sometimes arches never develop, or they sag or fall when you're an adult.
Sometimes, flatfoot never causes any problems. However, other times, it can cause serious symptoms like foot, leg, and lower back pain. Your Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers podiatrist can help with solutions that relieve your pain while providing better foot support.
Babies and small children naturally have flat feet until their arch finally develops around age 7-10. In adults, there are many possible causes of flatfoot, including joint disease like rheumatoid arthritis, muscle disease, nerve damage, and bone malformations. Genetics can also cause flatfoot in some cases.
Although obesity doesn't always lead to flatfoot, it's often a contributing factor. Excess weight can put too much strain on the arches of your feet over time, which can lead to flatfoot. Some pregnant women develop flatfoot for this reason.
Flatfoot doesn't always require treatment, but it's always best to schedule an evaluation from a foot health professional at Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers. If you're experiencing symptoms like pain or a rigid feeling in your feet, treatment is often necessary.
Orthotics can be extremely helpful for many flatfoot sufferers. Your podiatrist can prescribe custom orthotics made for your particular foot structure. You simply place the orthotics in your shoes, and they'll help you distribute your weight more evenly.
Orthotics aren't painful or difficult to wear, they're a gentle type of correction that can help you combat the problem of flatfoot without surgery.
Although most flatfoot sufferers don't need surgery to get symptom relief, your podiatrist may recommend surgical correction if you have severe chronic pain from flatfoot. If your flatfoot is derived from a bone malformation, surgery is often the best long-term solution, and it has the additional benefit of improving overall foot health.
To learn more about flatfoot solutions, reach out to the friendly podiatry care team at Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers online or by phone now.