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What Causes Flat Feet

Is the arch of your foot lower than usual? Does the sole of your foot almost completely touch the ground? Normally, the heel and the ball of your foot are what primarily come in contact with the ground, but for those that suffer from flat feet, commonly called fallen arches, the arch in the middle of the foot is typically flattened downward.

For some with flat feet, there can be little to no complications because their arches never fully developed as a child. However, for those who have previously injured their foot and/ or ankle, have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or are overweight, there is a chance that you have an increased risk for fallen arches or are already suffering from the symptoms.

Note that around 18 million people in the United States suffer from flat feet; you can take proactive steps to both treat and prevent your fallen arches from worsening. The first step is identifying the root condition and problem. People who suffer from flat feet typically:
  • Have difficulty walking and/or running
  • Suffer from knee complications (fallen arches typically cause arthritis in the knee)
  • Misalignment of the legs
    • Ankles move inward and the general leg positioning is disarray
There are further symptoms to look out for if you have acquired flat feet. Pay close attention to the following:
  • There is an obvious flat look to your feet
  • The heel and/or arch of your foot has frequent pain
  • You have difficulties standing on your tip-toes
  • You have swollen ankles
  • Your shoes feel uneven
When fallen arches have developed, the bones and tissues in the midfoot have collapsed. The complications listed above may arise, but there is treatment that can be taken to reduce the pain:
  • Contact your podiatrist for a full visual examination
  • Wear custom orthotic arch supports
  • Do daily foot exercises and stretches to increase your arch flexibility and strength
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication if necessary
  • Surgery
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director, HealthyFeetStore.com




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