Also known as pes valgus or pes planovalgus, flat feet lack normal arch structure. This position creates abnormal foot contact with the ground as the midfoot falls. Generally painless, flat feet can be caused by a variety of factors including age-related degenerative changes, traumatic injuries and chronic malpositioning of feet within conventionally shaped footwear. As foot arches flatten, other lower extremity joints are affected, including hips, knees and ankles.
Typically a painless condition, although more extreme cases may affect lower limb structural alignment, gait, biomechanics and posture. If left unchecked, can lead to abnormal leg alignment and be the indirect cause of ongoing musculoskeletal pain.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with flat feet include:
- Foot pain caused by long periods of standing
- Decreased ability to stand on your toes
- Aches in your heel or arch
- Swelling along your medial longitudinal arch
- Decreased ability to participate in certain sports or athletic activities
Treatment depends on the cause and symptoms. Conservative measures can help strengthen and align soft tissues. The most common approaches include:
- Naturally shaped footwear to help distribute bodyweight more appropriately and allow muscles to strengthen
- Strengthening exercises of the foot and lower leg
- Correct Toes to splint the big toe and foster arch strengthening
- Temporary us of arch supports. While placing the arch in an improved position, long term or chronic use causes muscle atrophy, rendering the foot weak and dependent.
Flat Feet Relief Products
- Toe Spacers – Toe spacers can help to gently realign the toes and provide support, wearing this can contribute to better foot mechanics for individuals with flat feet.
- Wide-toe Box Shoes – By allowing the toes to splay, wide-toe box shoes help distribute body weight more evenly across the foot, promoting improved and strengthened foot function.
Conservative Measures for Flat Feet
Use of footwear that help distribute body weight
Perform Strengthening Exercises
Use of Correct Toes
Use of Arch Supports