It’s estimated that about 30% of the population has flat feet, or fallen arches, and often it’s nothing to worry about. It used to be that the condition was enough to disqualify you from entering the military, but that’s generally not the case anymore, depending on what your symptoms are.
The dedicated podiatry team at Premier Foot & Ankle, with nine convenient Texas locations, are experts at diagnosing and treating flat feet, as well as preventing the complications that can stem from the condition.
Your provider evaluates your feet carefully, talks in-depth with you about your symptoms, and designs a customized treatment plan. This ensures that worsening symptoms and other problems are avoided.
How do I know if I have flat feet?
You may have flat feet and feel no pain or other symptoms, but you can also experience a range of uncomfortable issues, including:
- Pain in your arches
- Noticeable flattening of your arches
- Increased foot or ankle pain
- Limited range of motion
- Change in how you walk (gait)
- Leg cramps or muscle pain
You can develop flat feet in childhood, as a result of aging, or because of an injury. Other risk factors include living with diabetes, obesity, or rheumatoid arthritis.
Flat feet can lead to other conditions
Unfortunately, having flat feet can lead to other problems. These include:
Arthritis can result from flat feet due to damage that occurs over time to your subtalar joint (the joint below your ankle) and your talonavicular joint (the joint in front of your ankle).
Flat feet can lead to bone spurs, which are bony growths that develop near your joints. These emerge in people with osteoarthritis as well, which, as noted above, can also be caused by flat feet.
Bunions, corns, and calluses
Bunions, corns, and calluses can all result from flat feet because the condition causes parts of your feet to rub uncomfortably against your shoes, leading to corns and calluses, while overpronation (when your foot flattens and lands on the ground in an imbalanced way), can lead to the development of a bunion.
The overpronation caused by flat feet also contributes to shin splints, or pain along your shin bones.
Your podiatrist will want you to get treatment for your flat feet if your symptoms are uncomfortable or put you at risk for developing any of these complications.
In order to create the best treatment plan, your provider learns all they can about your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing pain, and takes X-rays in order to better understand your condition.
What treatments are available if I have flat feet?
Fortunately, our provider team at Premier Foot & Ankle offers a range of advanced treatments for flat feel. In addition to medications, including NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and oral steroids, we offer:
- Ankle or foot braces to correct your arches
- Shoe modifications
- Fracture boots
- Custom-molded orthotics
- Physical therapy
If your flat feet are extremely inflexible and arthritic, reconstructive foot surgery can bring your feet back to normal, thanks to tendon repair. If surgery seems to be a serious option for you, your doctor explains what to expect and what recovery looks like.
We have many steps we can take to bring more comfort to the steps you take! If you’re experiencing complications due to flat feet, call the Premier Foot & Ankle office most convenient to you today, or request an appointment online anytime.