Flat feet of themselves are not necessarily a problem. But people with a flat foot or the opposite condition, a highly arched foot, that are painful, are certainly in need of treatment.
Flat and high arched feet lead to faulty alignment of the bones of the feet and legs often causes muscle and ligament dysfunction. This combination often progresses to pain, not only in the feet but also in knees, legs and even the lower back. Arthritis, bunions and soft tissue pain can be the outcome, if these foot postural problems remain untreated.
The causes of flat feet are many, but in the older age group decreased exercise and increased weight add to the mechanical disturbances of the foot.
The best and first line of defense for a flat foot condition is a good supportive shoe but usually some type of arch support is beneficial.
Contributing factors are:
- flat (pronated feet)
- high arches (supinated feet)
- increasing age
- tight Achilles tendon
- sudden weight increase
- poor footwear
- sudden increase in activity level
- running in sand
- sprint running
- hereditary factors
Providing adequate arch and heel support is the key to reducing inflammation. Your Podiatrist can help relieve heel pain with advice regarding footwear, exercises and significant arch supports "orthoses" and lifestyle adjustments to relieve the pressure on the heel region.