It is common in infants and children. But adults can develop flat feet through injury or tightness in the ankle tendon. Hence, it results from an abnormal joint formation because of the stress on the foot and its arch.
1. Flat foot is common in infants.
Found most common in infants because the arch in an infant’s foot is not yet developed during this stage of life. It will start to develop during childhood, but some children and adults do not produce an arch. One cause of this is hereditary, which is not preventable. It is because you can inherit it from family members. Overweight, arthritis or muscle disease can also be the leading cause.
2. Diagnosis and Treatment
This condition does not show any signs and symptoms. It is not required to visit a doctor for a check-up and diagnosis. You can do a self-diagnosis at home for flat feet. First, get your feet wet, then try to stand up on a flat surface where your footprints will show. Step away and look at the print. If you see a whole imprint of your feet, then you have a flat foot.
Most people with this condition experience pain in the heel or ankle of their foot. The pain may get very serious, especially if you are very active.
Here are some flat feet treatments that can help you.
3. Exercise Treatments
Heel Cord Stretching
This exercise aims to stretch the ankle tendon and some foot muscles. You can do this exercise by standing and facing a wall. Then, place one hand on the wall at eye level. Next, place the leg you want to stretch one step behind the other leg. Keep your heel on the ground. Last, bend the knee of the front leg until you feel a stretch in the back leg. You can hold it for 30 seconds and have a 30-second rest. After resting, repeat it all over again nine times. It is essential to know that you must keep your back straight to make this exercise effective.
Golf Ball Roll
For this exercise, get a chair and a golf ball. Start by sitting on the chair with your feet on the ground. Put the golf ball under your foot, then roll it forward and backward under the arch of your foot for 2 minutes.
4. Use of fitted insole and ankle brace
If your condition is causing you pain and discomfort, it is important to choose the right shoes. It also includes using insoles to make your feet comfortable. An ankle brace is for the support of your ankles and eases the discomfort. These tools help in relieving the pressure in the ankle arch of your foot.
5. Rest your foot
If you move, your feet do most of the heavy duties. The feet carry most of the weight of a person’s body. That is why it is important to rest them to avoid the pain from worsening. You can sit for a while after walking or standing for hours. Removing your shoes if it makes you uncomfortable also helps.
6. Lifestyle changes
A flat foot because of obesity needs a lifestyle change. It includes changes in eating habits and exercise. Hence, if you have too many extra pounds in your body mass, it would be hard for your feet to carry all the weight. Avoid overeating and sit on the couch after eating. Always make sure that your body is moving. Also, you can walk your dog after eating a heavy meal or ride a bike every morning after you wake up to get some fresh air. Using a bike for exercise is good because it lessens the pressure given to your ankle and foot.
Flat feet may cause so much pain in your foot. If your condition is not getting any better, you can visit a doctor. Your doctor will give you some medications for the pain and swelling of your foot. But the medication will not treat your condition, but only the pain and swelling from it.
8. Foot Surgery
When medications and other alternatives did not work, foot surgery might solve your problem. It is a surgery done by an orthopedic surgeon., it is a doctor who specializes in bones. Also, the doctor will create an arch in your feet and repair tendons and joints in your foot. This kind of flat feet treatment has a high percentage of survival rate. But some complications might occur after the surgery. Examples of post-surgery complications are infection, poor ankle movement, improper healing of bones, and pain.
9. There are different types of flat feet.
- Flexible flat foot
- Tight Achilles tendon
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
10. It is not preventable.
Moreover, you can inherit flat feet from your parents or other family members, and there are no methods to prevent it. But if you have this condition, you can try the treatments for it. However, if it is not causing you any trouble, then there is nothing to worry about.
This type of condition is not life-threatening. But it can cause severe pain and discomfort that can affect your lifestyle and ability to move at ease. If it bothers you that much, you need to visit a doctor to have it checked.