Things you need to know
- Flat foot is usually self-diagnosed, and treatment and medication can help, but this condition cannot be cured
- People with the flat foot cannot run or walk too fast too much
- People with the flat foot can develop pain and severe discomfort in the hips, ankles, and knees due to the pressure
What is a flat foot?
A flat foot is a condition in which there is little to no arch in one or both feet. It is difficult for people to walk, jog or do sprint running for a longer duration. Usually, all babies are born with flat feet at birth, and as they grow, this condition becomes self-treatable, but it is also advisable to massage the baby’s foot to help form the correct structure with age because an arch typically forms by the age of 6 years. Though, a flat foot is not a condition of concern for most people other than for those for whom pain becomes unbearable and only treatment can help.
Types of flat feet
- Most common flat feet
- Affects both the feet and worsens with age
- You may see an arch when you are sitting, and it disappears as you stand and put pressure on your feet
- Tendons in the arches of the feet can swell and tear as you try to walk or run too much
- No arch while sitting or standing
- Develops when you hit puberty, i.e. in your teen years, and worsens with age
- Make sit difficult to flex the muscles, i.e. move them side-to-side or up and down
- Can affect one or both the feet
Causes of flat foot
In children, the most common causes of flat foot are:
- Lack of foot movement and exercise
- Loose ligaments
- Tightness in Achilles tendon
In adults, the most common causes of flat foot are:
- Injury and fractures
- Abnormal formation of joints
- Overuse and strain of muscles
Symptoms of flat foot
Most people with flat feet do not feel any discomfort or pain. Some common symptoms for flat foot are:-
- Aching or muscle pain
- Pain within 10 minutes of fast walking
- Pain in ankles, heels and outside part of the foot
- Pain when you wear flat slippers or shoes as the foot directly touches the ground
- Cramps on the part of the foot that touches the ground
- Feeling abnormal discomfort and stress on the knees and hips
Treatment of flat foot
Though there isn’t any specific sure shot treatment for the flat foot, people with a flat foot only need to take care of their feet by doing the following:
- Anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving drugs (as prescribed)
- Ice packs to help ease the inflammation and pain
- Physical therapy to improve the flexibility and mobility of tightened muscles
- Dip your feet in lukewarm salty water to relax and relieve pain
- Get yourself customised shoes, foot braces or foot orthotics for that extra support and comfort
- Do appropriate foot exercises to relieve pain
No, it is permanent in adults.
Yes, flat feet are non-reversible and permanent.
Walking barefoot on hard surfaces can lead to flat feet but consult specialists for better understanding.
You should wear slippers and shoes at home for your own safety. It protects you from getting any bacterial infection by staying barefoot the entire day.