Acquired flat foot disorder (flat feet) indicates the foot structure that has fallen arches. Bones of our skeletal system helps support the weight of our body. The arches in the foot may for some people have fallen. The arch which ought to be off the ground will lie flat on the ground. This condition could cause stress build up in the entire body, especially in the ankles and knees. As a result, pain and damage will occur.
Injuries caused by flat feet
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splits
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
- Medical Calcaneal Nerve Entrapment
- Tibialis Posterior Tendinopath
DEFINITION OF FLAT FEET
The medical term for flat feet is Pes Planus which means that the insides of your feet under the arches are flat. Your entire sole touches the floor unlike normal cases when only the projecting portion rests on the ground. This condition does not cause pain and usually occurs because the arches fail to develop when one is a child. Injuries can be responsible for this malformation. At times, this could result in pain and problems in the ankle and knee due to the improper distribution of force in the leg region.
Symptoms for Flatfeet
People with fallen arches do not exhibit any symptoms in 99% of the cases. Sometimes swelling could be present just as there could be pain. Pain is felt more in the heel and arch region. The tendon that supports the arch runs along the inside of the ankle. Swelling shows up in this region when you indulge in some activity.
Understanding the Causes
In the initial period of our life, that is when we were toddlers, the bones were not developed. All infants will have flatfeet. Some children will never develop arches. This will not affect the life of the person in any big way. Many children have flexible flatfeet where the arch is visible when the child sits but disappears when they stand up. Age can also be an important consideration since the arch might wear down as one grows old.
Risk Factors Associated With This Ailment
To know whether you have flatfeet or not, you must check the shape of your leg. Do they turn outward from the point of your ankle? Do you experience pain especially on the inside of your ankles? Many factors contribute to the occurrence of this liability. These are listed below.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Walking (or standing) for a long time in one place
- Wearing uncomfortable shoes
Consult Your Physician
You need to consult a professional if you experience pain in the foot or leg region. The podiatrist will study the symptoms and advise you on the best course to adopt. It is likely that you will have to answer these questions.
- Did you ever hurt your foot? If yes, when did this take place?
- Are you under treatment for any other medical condition?
- What medicines have been prescribed for you?
- Does flatfeet affliction run in the family?
- When did this condition come to your attention?
- Have you undertaken any treatment for this?
- Is there any particular thing that you do that makes the pain worse? Does anything you do make the pain less?
- Which is the exact place where you feel the pain?
- Do arch supports make the situation any better?
- Is it possible for you to stand on tiptoe?
- What is the nature of the pain – dull, throbbing, sharp or burning?
- Does this condition interfere with your normal routines?
- Have you tried changing your shoe?
To understand the entire movement of the foot, the doctor will observe it from two or three positions. He will also ask you to move them to understand the lack of motion or restrictions present. These are the tests you will have to undergo.
- CT Scan
CT scan is a detailed X-ray that shows details of your foot from different angles. The X-ray images will show the bone structure. It helps in the detection of arthritis. In the MRI, sound waves produce images and are used along with some magnet. It helps create pictures of your soft and hard tissues. Ultrasound testing too envisages the use of sound waves to capture images of your tissues and bones. This is recommended when your physician suspects that your tendon is injured.
TREATMENT AND MEDICATION
- Use of supportive shoes: Shoes help to support the body weight normally. However, specially made shoes will provide more comfort and support.
- Support for arches: One can obtain shoes with arched support at most retail shoe stores. One can also order them from any online store. Custom-made shoes will provide the maximum comfort though they will not cure flatfeet.
- Physical therapy: When you already have this condition, the best thing you can do is choose those exercises that help to ease the stress on the tendons.
- Stretching exercises: In this method, the person has to undergo a regimen of exercises that help stretch the tendon. This is usually the case when the person has Achilles tendon that is shortened.
Surgery is not an option when you consider flatfeet alone. If the person suffers from some ailment like a rupture of the tendon, then correction for flatfeet may also be done.
Lifestyle changes are highly recommended for those who have fallen arches of the foot. These home remedies help ease pain and lessen stress.
- Reduce weight: When you are overweight, the body will tend to overbalance and this will cause enormous stress in the leg tissues and muscles.
- Arch supports: Use of ready-to-wear arch supports or insole for flat feet will help a lot.
- Utilize every opportunity to relax: Relaxation is the best medicine for those who are vulnerable to stress. Try to keep everything you require in one place so that you do not have to run around too much.
- Medicines: Pain relievers will help but they must be taken after consultation with your medical care provider.