If you have flat feet – feet that don’t have an arch like normal feet – then you may be worried about them, wondering if they’ll pose a problem. Maybe they already have – or maybe your child has flat feet and you’re afraid they may lead to complications later on.
We’ll cover flat feet and whether or not you should be concerned about you or your child having them.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flat feet are feet that don’t have an arch. Instead of the bottom of the foot arching up in the middle, with only the ball and heel coming in contact with the surface when walking, the entire sole comes in contact with the ground.
Adults who have flat feet failed to develop normally-arched feet during childhood. We believe that there is a big genetic component to flat feet, since they tend to run in families – although having parents with flat feet is no guarantee that you’ll have them.
Are Flat Feet a Problem?
Generally, people with flat feet go through life without any major problems. For most people, they’re not bothered at all.
Flat feet can lead to stiffness and some degree of pain in anything from your feet to your lower back, including your ankles, knees, hips, and legs.
Additionally, the way your foot rolls as a result of your flat feet can cause orthopedic problems and injuries to your bones and tendons.
If the pain or stiffness affects your quality of life, you can get treatment for it. You can also get treated for flat feet if it’s causing orthopedic problems. Treatment can range from painkillers, exercises, and supportive shoes to surgery in some cases. Surgery isn’t always recommended, and is usually only pursued if conservative treatment has failed and there’s a serious problem.
So, if your child has flat feet, it’s okay – chances are they won’t be a problem. But keep an eye out for pain, stiffness, and orthopedic issues as your child develops.
If you’re an adult and you have flat feet, but haven’t had any symptoms, then it’s likely that you’ll be fine as well.
Foot Specialists of Birmingham is a trusted podiatry practice that serves the foot care needs of people in the greater Birmingham area. Contact us to make an appointment and let us help care for you.