Flat feet and Flexible flat feet

Flat feet, also known as flexible flatfoot or fallen arches, is a condition where the arches of the feet are flattened, causing discomfort and potential problems with foot function. Flat feet are often associated with an increase chance of foot pain due to the excessive load placed on the foot when the arches collapse and the foot over pronates.

The symptoms of flat feet can vary widely from mild aches and pains, arch pain and heel pain to lower back pain. Not evreyone with flat feet will experience pain due to their flat feet. In this article, we will explore different types of flat feet, their causes, associated problems, and various treatment options available.

A flexible flatfoot deformity gives the appearance of fallen arches.

Flat Feet (Flatfoot): Types, Causes & Treatment

When the foot over pronates this often leads to the appearance of a fallen arch or flat foot

Flexible Flat Foot:

A flexible flat foot is a common type of flat foot characterized by overpronation, where the foot rolls inward excessively. It is called a flexible flatfoot because when the foot is non weight bearing it often has the appearance of an arch. When the foot pronates the visible arch appears to to collapse and flatten. This can result in excessive wear and tear on the joints and ligaments of the foot, leading to pain and discomfort.

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction:

Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction (PTTD) or tibialis posterior muscle and tendon failure is a condition that affects the posterior tibial tendon, which plays a crucial role in supporting the arch of the foot. When this tendon becomes inflamed or damaged, it can contribute to the development of flat feet.

The tibialis posterior is the major rearfoot stabilizer. If this ruptured the foot taks on a severe flat foot appearance. Flat feet diagnosed with an ultrasound to check for tendon failure

Rigid Flat Feet:

Rigid flat foot is a less common form of flat feet where the arches remain rigid and do not flatten when weight is placed on the feet. Rigid flatfoot may be caused by structural abnormalities and/or foot deformities.

How Are Flat Feet Managed or Treated?

Managing and treating flat feet is essential for alleviating symptoms and preventing further complications. Some common approaches to treating flat feet are:

Custom orthotic

Custom Orthotics: Foot or can provide support and help maintain the arches of the feet. These specialized shoe inserts are designed to address individual foot structure and can reduce discomfort and improve foot alignment.

Supportive Footwear: Wearing supportive and well-fitted shoes with proper arch support is crucial for individuals with flat feet. Choosing shoes designed to provide stability and cushioning can help relieve pain and enhance foot function.

Physical Therapy and Exercise: Certain exercises and stretches can help strengthen the muscles of the feet and improve foot control. Training programs tailored to the individual’s needs can be beneficial in managing flat feet and associated symptoms.

Surgery – There are specific surgical options to treat flat feet. These are specifically tailored to the type of flat foot and foot abnormality causing the flat feet.

Wearing shoes that support and cushion your feet will help to rest and limit the effects of over pronation on your feet.

Lifestyle Changes:

In addition to medical interventions, certain lifestyle changes can help manage flat feet effectively. Consider the following:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight: Excess weight can put additional strain on the feet, exacerbating flat feet symptoms.

  • Choosing appropriate footwear: Opt for shoes with adequate arch support and cushioning to provide the necessary stability and comfort.

  • Avoiding high-impact activities: Minimize activities that place excessive stress on the feet, such as running on hard surfaces.

Flat feet can cause discomfort and impact foot function, but with proper management and treatment, individuals with this condition can find relief. Understanding the different types of flat feet, seeking professional advice, and making necessary lifestyle adjustments can contribute to improved foot health and overall well-being.

Remember, if you have concerns about your flat feet, it’s always advisable to consult a healthcare professional or podiatrist who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and guide you through the appropriate treatment options.

If you are concerned about your flat or collapsing arches please call us to make an appointment today Ph: (07) 3823 5423