Flat feet, or fallen arches, is a condition which affects approximately 40 percent of the population. There are two different types of flat feet – flexible and rigid. Flexible flatfeet are considered normal in children because often our arches are not fully developed until we reach a certain age -ranging from seven to thirteen. While some people are born with flat arches, for others, their arches will gradually fall over time due to age or the strain of heavy activity. While this condition is typically painless, it may be contributing to problems in your ankles, knees, and hips. Healthy Steps has compiled a list of facts that may help you decide if it is time to see your podiatrist.

SYMPTOMS

• Pain, cramping, or tenderness in the arches or heel of the foot
• Knee, Leg, Hip or Back Pain
• Outward tilting of the heel
• Awkwardness when walking
• Standing on your toes is difficult
• Uncomfortable in shoes
• Feet tire easily
• The inside bottom of your feet become swollen

CAUSES

• Genetic abnormality present from birth
• Stretched or torn tendons
• Broken or dislocated bones
• Neuropathy or Rheumatoid Arthritis

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS THAT INCREASE YOUR RISK

Diabetes
• Obesity
Aging
• Wearing high heels

TREATEMENT OPTIONS DEPENDING ON SEVERITY

• Orthotic devices, arch supports, shoe modifications, braces, or casts
• Physical therapy and stretching exercises
• Pain relief medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
• Injected anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids

The most important thing to remember is that foot pain is not normal! If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is time to see your podiatrist for a thorough exam. Get the spring back in your step and schedule an appointment with Healthy Steps today.