Flat Feet: How to Prevent Pain and Improve Function

October 17, 2023
Flat Feet: How to Prevent Pain and Improve Function

Flat feet can be painful and make it challenging to function fully. Thankfully, there are steps available to prevent that pain and improve functionality. Today we’re taking a closer look at flat feet pain, both what causes it and how to prevent it best.

Flat Feet Symptoms

Flat feet symptoms start with foot pain, the most prominent and common symptom. Strained muscles and connective ligaments cause this in the foot. It can also cause pain in the arches, calves, knees, hips, lower back, and legs. Stiffness in one or both feet is also common.

Flat feet occur when the arches of the inside of the feet flatten when pressure is placed on them. The feet point outward when standing, and the entire soles fall and touch the floor. Flat feet are common in children when the arches don’t develop in childhood. They can also develop later in life after injury or wear and tear from aging.

In some cases, this can be an entirely painless process. However, if these symptoms grow or worsen over time, there are steps to undertake to fix flat feet.

How to Fix Flat Feet

Finding ways how to fix flat feet starts with some simple home exercises. A specialist typically prescribes exercises like these, but they can be performed at home anytime.

The first exercise that can help fix flat feet is a heel cord stretch. That is done by standing facing a wall and placing one hand against the wall at eye level. Place your leg that needs to be stretched one step further behind you than the other feet. Then, plant your backmost heel firmly on the ground and bend the knee of your straight leg. The back leg should begin to stretch, and hold this position for ninety seconds. Repeat the stretch around nine times, approximately two to three times throughout the day, to see results.

Another simple stretch that treats flat feet pain can be done in a chair with an ordinary golf ball. Sit in the chair, place the golf ball under the foot, and roll the foot forward and backward for two minutes. This will help stretch the affected muscles and ligaments and relieve much pain.

Additional Flat Feet Treatment Options

If exercises like these (or other ones recommended by a specialist) aren’t enough, there are additional steps to potentially take.

Custom orthotics are the most commonly prescribed treatment for flat feet. These custom-designed inserts will be made to the shape and size of the patient’s arches. Placed in the shoes and worn daily, orthotics will significantly reduce the pain caused by flat feet.

Surgical correction is another potential solution but is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Surgery can reconstruct the arch of the foot, but the complexity of the condition needs to meet strict surgical criteria. In children, this can be done with a metallic implant temporarily realigning the patient’s maturing foot bones and growth plates. The implant is then removed, making the procedure minimally invasive.

These symptoms can sometimes worsen over time, especially left unattended. If this pain develops suddenly or suddenly worsens, you should see a specialist to get it evaluated.

Get Flat Feet Fixed at Diablo Foot and Ankle

Flat feet pain can feel insurmountable, but there are treatment options to get you back up and walking again. Flat feet are a common condition we treat at Diablo Foot and Ankle. 

Our podiatric specialists will answer any other questions you still have and recommend the best course of treatment. Schedule your appointment today and start walking easier sooner.

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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