Flat Feet: Causes and Symptoms

November 9, 2023
Flat Feet: Causes and Symptoms

Foot problems are awful, considering that they often hinder your movement. There are many different types of foot problems that range from mild to severe. One foot problem that can vary in severity is flat feet, also known as fallen arches. Flat foot is strange because it never causes issues for some but creates several difficulties for others. Let’s take a look at the potential causes and symptoms of flat feet.

What Causes Flat Feet?

There are a few different factors that can contribute to developing a flat foot. In many cases, it’s purely genetic, passed down from the individual's family. Some people may just have weak arches. A fallen arch means that their foot has a natural curve when they are sitting down, but it easily flattens when they stand up.

There are several conditions that sometimes cause flat feet, including arthritis, muscle and nervous system diseases like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, foot or ankle injuries, and tarsal coalition. Some other medical issues that can make people more likely to develop flat feet are diabetes and obesity. Developing flat feet while pregnant is also common.

In some cases, a person may begin to develop a flat foot as a result of age. The posterior tibial tendon, the primary support for the arch of the foot, can weaken as an individual gets older. Some infants may appear to have flat feet, but the arch develops later on. Extra fat on infant’s feet can also disguise the arch.

Diagnosis of Flat Feet

Many people with fallen arches will not need to consult a doctor as long as they are not experiencing pain or difficulties as a result of the condition. There are certain symptoms that prompt contacting a doctor, including:

● Recently developed flat feet

● Feelings of heaviness or stiffness in the feet

● Pain in the foot, ankles, or legs

● No improvement despite wearing good fitting and supportive shoes

A doctor will inspect your feet and observe how you walk and stand. In some cases, they may also order an X-ray or MRI to see if there are more severe issues at hand.

Treating Flat Feet

Not everyone who has flat feet will require treatment. For those who do, the first step is often a pair of supportive and well-fitted shoes. This may be all it takes to resolve the pain and difficulties. Other people may benefit from custom-designed arch supports, though these are not a permanent solution to the issue.

Depending on the severity and cause of the fallen arch, there can be several other forms of intervention. If your flat foot is related to obesity, then losing weight will often be the recommendation. Others may be advised to take some time to rest the feet and avoid putting strain on them. It all comes down to what your doctor recommends as the best form of treatment for your particular case.  

Diablo Foot & Ankle Is Here to Help

If you are looking for help with your foot or ankle condition, give us a call here at Diablo Foot & Ankle. Dr. Eman Elmi, DPM, wants to help with whatever difficulties you may be struggling with. We offer many different treatments and want to see you recover from foot or ankle difficulties. Get back to doing the activities that you love. Give us a call today at (925) 464-1982.

Common Podiatry Questions

What is a Podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.

What does a Podiatrist treat?

A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.

What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?

A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.

Where are your Podiatry clinics located?

At Diablo Foot & Ankle, we treat our foot and ankle patients in two main clinic locations in Walnut Creek and in Antioch California. Dr. Eman Elmi and Dr. Shayan Esspoor are Board Certified Podiatrists who specialize in the treatment of foot and ankle disorders.

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