People who have normal, fully- developed arches in their feet have a notable upward curve that goes through the middle of their feet. When the arch of the foot fully develops, the tendons and ligaments in the foot and lower leg provide sufficient support and stability.
Flatfeet, sometimes called fallen arches, are caused because of an undeveloped or collapsed arch. Many cases of flatfeet are hereditary and can be identified at birth. In other instances, flatfeet can develop after a person suffers an injury or overuses their feet.
Flatfeet is a common condition found in children, though it is usually painless at young age. However, it can cause some arching pain in both adolescents and adults. For most adults, the pain they experience tends to happen during or after physical activity, and there is sometimes a dull pain after long periods of rest.
The factors that cause flatfeet are simple: The tendons and ligaments that support the arches in your feet weaken and collapse because of too much stress or overuse.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Flatfeet?
Children with arches that do not fully develop aren’t always necessarily affected by flatfeet. However, flatfeet has sometimes been known to cause problems in other parts of the body. For example, flatfeet has been shown to force some joints out of alignment.
Although adults don’t always exhibit outward signs or symptoms that might suggest they have flatfeet, some people will experience pain in the arches of their feet. More often than not though, flatfeet will cause noticeable fatigue in a person’s arches, heels, knees, or lower back.
Other common symptoms of flatfeet include:
- Achy feet
- Swollen feet
- Trouble moving the foot
- Pain in the back or in the legs
How to Test Yourself for Flatfeet
To determine if you have flatfeet, there is simple test that you can do yourself at home. All you will need is a flat, concrete surface and water. First, get your feet wet. Once you have done that, stand as you normally would on the concrete surface. Take a step away from the surface and you will find an imprint of the bottom of your foot. Closely examine this imprint, if you see an imprint with the inside curve of your foot missing, your arches are normal. If you see the entire imprint of the bottom of your foot, you have flatfeet.
Ways to Treat Flatfeet
Treatment options for flatfeet depend on the severity and cause of the condition. If you think you have flatfeet, you should have them examined by a podiatrist. Flatfeet can lead to other serious health issues, such as heel spurs, ankle or knee pain, and arthritis.
If your flatfeet are causing you severe pain or beginning to contribute to other debilitating conditions, your doctor might suggest the following types of treatments:
When your pain or foot damage is particularly severe, your doctor might recommend you undergo surgery. At Unruh Spine Center, we have been helping the people of Santa Clarita treat their chronic pain since 2002. Our skilled team of professional chiropractors can assess your condition and help guide you through your treatment options and recovery process.