By Chantell Peterson
Are you one of 25% of Americans that have flat feet? Having flat feet means that you do not have an arch in the bottom of your foot. Sometimes this condition is also known as “fallen arches” or “pronated” feet. Flat feet or flat foot is actually the most common foot deformity known. For some people there are no signs or symptoms associated with flat foot. For others they may experience pain or symptoms that can worsen with activity. Some people may still be able to run marathons with flat feet while others will be limited in their daily activities and over time, if this condition goes untreated, problems can occur.
There are two main causes for flat foot. The first cause is congenital flat foot, which is a condition that someone is born with or is predisposed to at birth. A flat foot is normal in infants and toddlers as most arches develop throughout childhood. But some people never develop an arch or begin experiencing problems with their arch. Over time, some arches fall. Years of wear and tear on the feet can weaken the tendon that runs along the inside of the ankle and helps support the arch, which causes the arch to fall.
The second cause is acquired flat foot, which is a much rarer condition that can develop over time and may be caused by many factors throughout life. There are also conditions that can put one more at risk such as obesity, injury to your foot or ankle, rheumatoid arthritis, aging and diabetes. Flat foot can cause pain and limit daily activities but it can also contribute to problems with your ankles, knees and even the alignment of your legs.
If your flat foot becomes painful or bothersome, it is best to seek treatment from a foot and ankle specialist early on. The doctors at Southwest Foot and Ankle Center are available to assist you with the best treatment options available to help you with your condition. Imaging tests can help determine the treatment plan that is best suited for your condition. Some people may need custom inserts, stretching exercises, physical therapy and/or supportive shoes to assist with their condition, while others may need a more complex treatment plan. If a tendon tear or rupture is present, it is possible that your condition may require surgery. This is for the more extreme cases.
If you or someone you know has a flat foot condition, please call our office today at 972-316-0902 for an evaluation so we can help assist with the problem. Our doctors are specialized to help with this condition among many other foot and ankle conditions. Call today for your evaluation!
Dr. Reza Mobarak heads the Southwest Foot and Ankle Center with offices in Plano, Lewisville and Irving and may be reached at 972-316-0902. www.swfacenter.com