Being flexible is usually considered to be a good thing, but when it comes to your feet having flexible arches, it is not a desirable characteristic since flat feet can lead to a wide variety of other problems over time. Your feet are considered to be flexible if your arches disappear when you put weight on them, but they return to a more normal position when you pick your feet up. Due to the wide variation in the potential complications of this condition, it is important to have a foot specialist perform a complete examination and make recommendations for treatment.
When flat feet are left untreated, they can often lead to other foot problems including bunions, hammertoes, and tightening of the Achilles tendon and calf muscle. In turn, these can lead to plantar fasciitis, knee, hip, and back problems.
Symptoms most often associated with flexible flatfeet include:
- Severe pain in the arch, heel, and ankle, or on the outside edge of the foot
- Shin splints
- Rolling your ankle inwards when you walk, which is called overpronation
- Aching and tiredness in your foot and leg
- Lower back, hip, or knee pain
A complete physical exam including imaging studies like x-rays will be performed to assess the severity of your flat feet problems.
Treatment options include the following:
- Ibuprofen to treat pain and inflammation
- Weight reduction to relieve pressure on the arch
- Altering your activity level to avoid repetitive strain on the arches
- Arch supports or other orthotic devices
- Physical therapy
- Immobilization of the foot with a special boot
- Surgery for extreme cases
If you suspect you may have flat feet, see your foot doctor for an evaluation. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, it is important to see a foot specialist to receive the correct care. Anthony Benenati, DPM, Neil Shaw, DPM and Adam Thompson, DPM of Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers will provide expert advice and proper evaluation for all your foot care concerns. To serve you better, we have 3 office locations in Macomb County including St. Clair Shores, Warren, and Macomb, MI. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to request an appointment online.