What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet are feet that have a lower than normal arch profile. Several bones in your foot work together to form the arches in your foot. When these bones are not stable or misaligned this leads to a collapse of the arch.
There are three different types of flat foot:
- Flexible Flat Foot
This is the most common form of flat foot. It means that there is an arch when there isn’t any pressure on the foot, but when you stand the arch collapses.
- Semi Flexible Flat Foot
With semi flexible flat foot, there isn’t much of an arch with or without pressure on the foot. The foot flattens out more during standing.
- Rigid Flat Foot
With rigid flat foot, the foot has no arch on or off the ground and it cannot be manually forced back into its normal position on or off the ground.
What Causes Flat Feet?
The main reason why there is a lowering of the arch of your foot is due to the alignment or misalignment of the ankle bone. A partial displacement or dislocation of the ankle bone ‘unlocks’ the bones of your mid-foot which leads to the foot becoming unstable and lowering of the arch.
Other Factors Leading To Flat Feet
- Being Overweight. Excess weight on your feet can put increased strain on the tendons, muscles and general bone structure. Misaligned or flat feet will also cause you to gain weight due to the fact that if you have pain it will eventually reduce your activity levels, leading to weight gain.
- Flat feet have a strong genetic connection. If you know another family member that lives with foot problems, you may have inherited it!
- Prior Injury. If there has been injury or damage to parts of the feet or ankle it may cause your feet to flatten out. Any damage or inflammation on the posterior tibial tendon can result in this. Misaligned or flat feet leads to an increased strain on the posterior tibial tendon which can also cause additional injury and inflammation.
- Age and Wear & Tear. As with anything, age and the wear & tear you place on your body has an impact, especially on your feet. Your feet take a huge amount of wear & tear throughout your life time as we use (and abuse) them every day. Walking, jumping, running and other activities takes a toll.
Treating Flat Feet
Once we have obtained a diagnosis of your condition we are able to formulate an individualised treatment plan. We don’t offer a one size fits all treatment solution.
Depending upon individual circumstances one or multiple treatment options may be undertaken to offer you the best possible outcome.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Stretching and exercises
Healthy feet provide the foundations for a healthy body and an active life!
Dr Peter Shelton BSc Hons. Accredited Podiatrist.