When you have flat feet, the entire sole of your foot touches the floor when you stand. While this may not seem like a cause for concern, this common condition can cause a structural imbalance in your body, which can lead to foot issues as well as ankle, knee, and hip problems.
At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, with locations in Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Evergreen, & Granby, CO,
our top-rated podiatrists, diagnose and treat a wide range of foot and ankle problems. Here’s what you need to know about flat feet and how we can help you with this condition.
Recognizing flat feet
Your foot is a complex structure that contains 33 joints, 26 bones, and more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Your arch is the curved area between your heel and the ball of your foot. This part of your foot distributes your body weight and puts a flexible spring in your step when you walk.
When you have flat feet, your arches either don’t fully develop during childhood, or they fall gradually because of weakened or damaged tendons. Common causes of flat feet include:
- Being overweight, obese, or pregnant
- Having a family history of flat feet
- Sustaining a foot or ankle injury
- Living with certain conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or cerebral palsy
Having flat feet can throw your entire body out of alignment and lead to stress and pain, especially in your hips, lower limbs, ankles, and feet. Without treatment, these symptoms can grow and cause additional problems, such as bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and arthritis.
Managing flat feet
Up to 30% of Americans have fallen arches, usually in both feet, but it’s possible to have only one flat foot. At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, we can easily diagnose flat feet during a routine office visit and develop a personalized treatment plan. Depending on the extent of your condition, she might recommend a variety of therapies.
Unlike generic, over-the-counter devices, we make customized orthotics designed to fit the unique contours of your feet to provide better support and more effective results.
Similar to custom orthotics, supportive shoes can improve the alignment of your body, provide additional arch support, and provide better cushioning for your feet. We can make personalized recommendations for the best footwear based on the support you need.
These special exercises focus on raising, lengthening, and strengthening your arches. A few common activities for fallen arches include heel stretches, arch lifts, and calf raises.
If you have flat feet because of an injury, poor form, or improper technique, we might suggest physical therapy. This treatment strategy focuses on restoring proper movement, alignment, and balance in your body.
In rare instances, surgery may be recommended.
If you have flat feet and need expert care, or if you need an evaluation to see if you have flat feet, book an appointment at one of our convenient locations.