The arch of the foot is a very important structure. It supports the entire foot, and therefore your entire weight. When the arch begins to fall from age, arthritis, overuse or trauma, flat feet can be the result. However, flat feet do not necessarily hurt. Over time, the foot can become more stressed because of the lack of arching. This can result in other common foot problems, such as hammertoes and heel spurs.
If left unchecked, flat feet can cause misalignment and discomfort in other joints and in the lower back. When addressed early on, nonsurgical treatment can prevent pain.
Treating Flat Feet
People with flat feet can take action to prevent strain and pain. When you see Dr. Smith, he will look into your history and watch how you walk. He may call for an x-ray other other digital imaging of the foot.
Orthotics are a common way to address flat feet, as they can provide support and cushioning to the arch and foot structures. Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed, and Dr. Smith may tape the arch of your foot to help it stay in the right position. In severe cases, the option of surgery to correct your foot structure and alignment will be discussed.
Dr. Smith will also talk to you about the steps you can take to keep your feet in good condition. Massage and stretching can have a positive impact on the health of your flat feet. Wearing properly fitted shoes is important for everyone’s foot health, especially individuals with arthritis, diabetes and other conditions that affect the feet.