Flat feet is a condition in which the foot doesn't have a normal arch. It may affect one foot or both feet. Most people have a gap between in the inner side of the foot and the ground when they are standing. This is referred to as an "arch". Feet that have a low arch or no arch at all are referred to as flat feet or fallen arches. On standing the patient will have a flat arch and the foot may roll over to the inner aspect.
The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition. Individuals may experience corns and hard skin under the sole of the foot. The arch area may be tender and shoes will tend to wear out quickly. In severe cases the patient may experience calf, knee, hip and back pain.
CAUSES OF FLAT FEET
It may be hereditary, i.e passed on through generations. In most cases it is caused through a biomechanical complaint (abnormal walking) such as Fore Foot Varus. This is a condition in which the subtaler joint in the foot over pronates (rolls in too much). A ruptured tendon (tibilias posterior) can lead to a flat foot. Cerebral palsy, spins bifida and muscular dystrophy can also lead to a flat foot condition.
TREATMENT OF FLAT FEET
Wear wide fitting shoes. Do not try to treat the secondary lesions (i.e corns) yourself. Purchase high quality insoles/ orthotics to take pressure and pain away from the arch.
Flat feet insoles have been used for years to help people with flat feet. Traditionally when we think of insoles or orthotics we think of a hard plastic insert that is placed in the shoe. It cups the heel and supports the arch but because it is not flexible it does not extend the full length of the foot. This tends to make this type of orthotic uncomfortable, and ineffective for many people.
It also repositions the arch using "brute force." Because it is not flexible it forces the arch into it's correct position but does nothing to relieve the pressure that is forcing the arch to collapse, causing flat feet, in the first place. This type of hard plastic orthotic can actually cause increased pain in flat feet patients, which is the reason why we have recommended the Dr Foot Insoles for the treatment of flat feet. They provide a flexible yet incredibly supportive and stable treatment for flat feet.
For further information on flat feet and all types of foot pain visit http://www.drfoot.co.uk