What allows the body to carry and distribute weight efficiently? The answer lies in the arches of our feet. Arches exist for good reason. They not only act as shock absorbers but also help our feet adapt to uneven surfaces by evenly distributing weight throughout our feet. Flat feet (pes planus) is a common foot deformity where the foot appears to have a very low or no arch.
People are more likely to develop flat feet if they have suffered severe trauma to the feet. For example, a motorbike accident or a serious sports injury can cause the arches to fall. Many medical experts believe that flat feet are inherited. It can pass on from parents to children in the genes. In some cases, this condition occurs over time due to aging, obesity, diabetes, pregnancy (hormonal changes in the body), and arthritis.
Early diagnosis and the right treatment can give you relief and prevent further complications. Here are some key things that can help your flat feet.
- Orthotics: Slide those orthotics insoles into your shoes to relieve you of foot pain by providing much-needed arch support. Custom-made orthotics are specific to your feet and may be used to relieve stress on the arch and minimize pain if the feet roll too far inward. It is important to note that these measures will treat only the symptoms such as reducing your pain and helping you walk more comfortably.
- Well-fitted shoes: If your flat feet are causing you a certain level of discomfort, then it is best to wear shoes that best provide relief. Wear supportive and well-fitted shoes to help your flat feet find relief.
- Exercise and stretching: People who tend to have flat feet should follow strict programs aimed at strengthening foot and ankle muscles. Exercises may involve picking up marbles with your toes. A good stretch can also help alleviate the flattening effect. In order to get a good stretch, one may practice different yoga positions.
- Maintain ideal body weight. People who are obese and overweight are more likely to develop flat feet. Increasing weight can tear the tibial tendon which can cause the arches to fall. Losing weight can help reduce the pressure and pain.
If you are experiencing any pain from flat feet, it is important to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist to fully assess the situation.
At Joseph Stuto, DPM, our team of doctors can help you diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions including flat feet. Our podiatrists Dr. Joseph C. Stuto and Dr. Joseph A. Stuto provide top quality foot and ankle care to our patients. For more information you can visit our website or schedule an appointment by calling (718) 624-7537.