The arches of your feet perform an important function—evening out the forces caused by weight-bearing activities before they reach the legs, knees, hips, and back. In fact, one of the major causes of back pain is poor gait mechanics caused by flat feet. Your arch is created by the tendons and tissues that connect the heel to the foot bones, and when these structures function abnormally the arch can fall.
Some of the symptoms and causes of flat feet include:
- Pain and discomfort—Your arches and heels will be painful, most often upon weight bearing, and your feet will get tired very easily. You may also experience swelling in the sole area, leg and back pain, and trouble standing on your toes comfortably.
- Causes—Some people are genetically predisposed to developing flat feet. Other causes are arthritis, nerve problems, broken bones, and issues with ligaments and tendons.
Some people have flat feet but do not show any symptoms. In this case, no treatment is necessary, but the condition should be monitored to prevent future complications. However, if you are experiencing pain and discomfort from flat feet, treatments that are available include the following:
- Orthotic inserts and braces for arch support and to treat other foot abnormalities such as bunions
- Resting and icing
- Anti-inflammatory medications can be applied topically or taken orally
- Physical therapy, stretching and flexibility exercises
If you are having continuing problems related to flat feet, see your foot doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.