Flat feet — where the arches inside the feet have an insufficient curve — are common. While some people with flat feet experience no symptoms, others may encounter a range of complications, from pain to difficulty walking.
The Nevada Orthopedic & Spine Center team aims to shed light on the potential health problems caused by flat feet, providing a deeper understanding of the condition and its broader implications.
One of the most frequent issues associated with flat feet, plantar fasciitis, involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Flat feet can increase strain on this tissue, leading to pain and stiffness in the heel.
The key to managing plantar fasciitis involves reducing inflammation and providing adequate support to the foot arch. You can achieve this through physical therapy, proper footwear, and, in some cases, orthotic devices. Regular stretching exercises, especially those targeting the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia, can also help alleviate symptoms.
Achilles tendonitis causes pain along the back of the leg near the heel and is another condition often seen in people with flat feet. The altered alignment and foot mechanics due to flat arches can put extra strain on the Achilles tendon, leading to inflammation and pain.
Treatment for Achilles tendonitis includes rest, ice, compression, elevation (RICE), and anti-inflammatory medications. Strengthening and stretching exercises are also beneficial. Choosing footwear that provides proper heel support can reduce the risk of aggravation. Severe Achilles tendonitis may require surgery.
Overpronation and knee pain
Flat feet often result in overpronation, where the ankles roll inward excessively during walking or running. This misalignment can create undue stress on the knees, leading to pain and discomfort in the knee joints.
Wear shoes that support your arches and provide stability to reduce pain from overpronation. Orthotic insoles designed for flat feet can also help correct overpronation. Strengthening exercises for the lower body, particularly the hips and thighs, can improve overall alignment and reduce knee strain.
Lower back pain
Flat feet can alter your body's natural alignment and cause lower back pain. The lack of proper arch support can lead to uneven weight distribution, putting additional stress on the lower back.
Wearing supportive footwear or custom orthotics can relieve lower back pain caused by flat feet because it improves foot support and alignment. Additionally, core strengthening exercises can enhance posture and reduce strain on the back.
Recognizing the potential problems of flat feet is the first step toward effective management. People with flat feet can lead a comfortable and active life with proper footwear, targeted exercises, and the possible use of orthotics.
If you suspect you have flat feet and want to discuss potential treatment options, call the office nearest you in Henderson or Las Vegas, Nevada, or schedule an appointment online.