Flat feet has been recognized as a condition that, if left untreated, decreases your quality of life. The pain and discomfort associated with this condition can diminish your ability to live a normal life, potentially leading to physical disability. According to this 2012 study conducted by the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, 8 percent of U.S. adults ages 21 and older (about 18 million people) suffer from flat feet. Another 4 percent, or about 8 million U.S. adults, have fallen arches. The expert podiatrists at Foot And Ankle Specialists Of Illinois are able to make recommendations for treatment that is best suited to you based on the severity of your condition.
What Are Flat Feet And Its Symptoms?
Flat foot is a foot deformity characterized by fallen arches. Patients with congenital flat feet are born with arches that collapse upon bearing weight. Those born with flat feet are less likely to feel pain than those who have acquired flat feet or have developed flat feet, throughout their lives. Individuals of all ages are susceptible to flat feet and some symptoms include:
- Difficulty moving toes or feet
- Heel, Knee, and Back Pain
- Swollen Arches
What Causes Flat Feet?
There are a variety of problems that can contribute to the development and worsening of flat feet such as:
- Unsupportive shoes eg. sandals and old worn-out shoes
- Inflammation of foot and leg muscles
- Overcompensation due to injury
- Stretched Tendons
When certain tendons become overworked or stretched out, particularly the Achilles tendon located on the back of the leg near the ankle, they can pull on the muscles in the arch creating pain. Furthermore, inflammation in the leg and foot muscles can lead to overcompensation causing patients to favor one leg over the other. This extra weight bearing can worsen symptoms of flat feet.
How Can I Treat My Symptoms?
- Ankle exercising and stretching techniques
- Avoid walking on hard surfaces
- Ankle foot orthotics
- Firm arch support
Arch supports provide additional support to keep arches from collapsing. Sometimes old, worn-out shoes cause individuals to change the areas of the foot they place pressure on when they walk. New shoes with arch support can be purchased to aid those with fallen arches. If tight muscles or inflammation are causing your flat feet, anti-inflammatory medication and ankle strengthening exercises are helpful in reducing discomfort. Finally, if all non-invasive techniques fail and your flat foot pain continues, surgery can be considered as a final resort.
Treating Flat Feet And Fallen Arches In Algonquin, IL
The only way to properly manage flat feet is to have a professional diagnose the severity of your condition. Less severe cases may only require preventative measures, while more advanced cases will require correction. Book a consultation with a podiatrist at the Foot And Ankle Specialists of Illinois today!