Flat feet may sound like a harmless condition, what could possibly arise from having flat feet? Well, it can actually have widespread implications on the health and structure of the entire body! It affects the alignment of the body when a person is standing, walking, or running. Misalignment is a strong factor that leads to the development of pain in the hips, knees, ankles, and even your back!
The team at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois wants to help our patients gain a better understanding of the foot conditions that may be causing them pain or discomfort. While these resources are intended to help increase awareness, it is still important to remember to not self-diagnose yourself, rather use this as a reference to have a more informed, better-structured discussion with your foot specialist.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Studies indicate that there is a strong genetic component that determines your likelihood of flat feet, making it hereditary. As you grow and develop – arches naturally form in the feet. Some people have high arches, while others have very low or nearly absent arches, resulting in the diagnosis of flat feet.
Some people develop flat feet later in life due to obesity or other chronic conditions, and it has a tendency to run in families. Certain health problems put you at an increased risk of flat feet, including:
- Unsupportive shoes eg. sandals and old worn-out shoes
- Inflammation of foot and leg muscles
- Overcompensation due to injury
- Stretched Tendons
What are The Symptoms of Flat Feet?
Many people with flat feet don’t experience pain or other problems. But certain types of flatfoot can be painful. Symptoms may include:
- Leg cramps.
- Muscle pain in feet/legs
- Pain in the arch, ankle, heel or outside of the foot.
- Pain when walking or changes in how you walk
- Toe drift (front part of the foot points outward)
How are Flat Feet Managed or Treated?
For most people with flat feet, there are a series of non-surgical treatments and management protocols you can follow to alleviate pain and discomfort in your daily life. Only in specific cases would surgical treatment be suggested, in cases where foot bones do not develop properly in childhood, and your quality of life is being seriously affected. Below are some of the common treatment options
For Pain flare-ups
Your best option for occasional pain and discomfort is to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), allow adequate rest, and apply ice to ease inflammation and pain. You may want to keep note of the date and how often it occurs, which can let you know when it’s time to consult a professional for further assistance.
Physical Therapy & Stretching
These movements and stretches are designed to relieve tightness and strengthen tight tendons, improving flexibility and mobility. There are specific movements involved that are demonstrated by professionals to help you get relief, quickly.
Supportive Foot Devices
If your pain and lack of mobility are a frequent occurrence, it will be necessary to have some supportive devices created specifically for your feet. These devices offer much-needed support, taking much of the strain off of your feet. Examples may include:
- Foot orthotics/insoles
- Foot or leg braces
- Custom-made shoes
Flat Feet Due to Obesity
Depending on how overweight you are, you may experience varying degrees of flat feet and their associated symptoms. The best and most effective solution in this case, is weight loss.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
You should call your healthcare provider if you experience:
- Difficulty balancing
- Trouble walking, including pain when walking
- Stiff, painful, sore feet
- Sudden development of flat feet or fallen arches
Flat Feet Treatment Available in Algonquin, Illinois
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet, trust the professionals at the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. It can be very challenging to understand and identify the source of your pain, and leaving conditions unattended can lead to serious health concerns, so visit us today for your foot and ankle solutions.
Call our office to speak with a member of our team or schedule a consultation online today!