What to Do About Flat Feet

What to Do About Flat Feet

Under normal circumstances, each of your feet features three arches that act as springs, absorbing impact and bearing the entire weight of your body. In the absence of these arches, you have what we call flat feet, the effects of which can range from mild to severe.

At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of experienced podiatry experts has extensive experience diagnosing and treating problematic flat feet in both children and adults. The reason why we use the term “problematic” is that flat feet can often exist without incident, but they can also become the source of pain and mobility issues.

Here’s a look at how flat feet develop and whether you should seek our help for the structural issue.

Different types of flat feet

To better understand flat feet, it’s important to recognize that there are different types, including:

Flexible flat feet

This issue usually develops in childhood and is marked by arches visible when there’s no weight on the foot but disappear as soon as pressure is applied. Most kids outgrow flexible flat feet.

Rigid flat feet

Unlike flexible flat feet, rigid flat feet are characterized by arches that aren’t evident when sitting or standing. This condition typically develops during adolescence and can affect one or both feet.

Adult-acquired flat feet

This type of flat feet usually develops in people over the age of 40 and stems from a problem in the posterior tibial tendon. If there’s a tear or excessive stretching in this supportive tendon, your arches can fall, creating a foot that lies flat on the surface.

When flat feet are problematic

As we mentioned earlier, some people live with flat feet and don’t experience any consequences in terms of discomfort or mobility. For others, however, flat feet can lead to:

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s important that you come to see us so that we can diagnose the extent of the problem and determine what steps we can take to improve your symptoms.

Treating flat feet

If your flat feet are causing issues, our first goal is to make you comfortable again, which we often accomplish with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections.

Next, we want to address the structural issue, usually through physical therapy and custom orthotics. With physical therapy, we can concentrate on stretching and strengthening certain soft tissues to relieve your pain and improve your support.

Please note that by addressing problematic flat feet early on, we can help you avoid irreversible conditions like arthritis, bunions, and bone spurs.

To learn more about your treatment options for flat feet, contact one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, or Lebanon, Tennessee.

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