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Understanding Flat Feet: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
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Understanding Flat Feet: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches or pes planus, is a common condition that occurs when the arches of the feet fail to develop fully during childhood or collapse over time. This leads to the entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground when standing or walking, rather than having a noticeable arch.

Causes of Flat Feet

1. Genetic Factors

Many cases of flat feet are hereditary, meaning they are passed down through generations. If one or both of your parents have flat feet, there is a higher likelihood that you may develop the condition as well.

2. Weak Foot Muscles

In some instances, weak foot muscles can contribute to the development of flat feet. These muscles play a crucial role in maintaining the arches of the feet, and if they are not adequately strengthened, the arches may gradually collapse.

3. Injury or Overuse

Certain injuries, such as fractures or dislocations, can lead to the development of flat feet. Additionally, repeated strain on the feet due to activities like excessive running or standing for long periods may also contribute to the condition.

Symptoms of Flat Feet

Flat feet can manifest differently in individuals, with varying degrees of severity. Some common symptoms associated with flat feet include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the feet, particularly in the arch area or the inside of the ankle.
  • Swelling along the inside of the ankle.
  • Uneven shoe wear, with more wear on the inner side of the sole.
  • Difficulty standing on tiptoes or performing activities that require foot flexibility.

Treatment Options for Flat Feet

1. Supportive Footwear

Wearing appropriate footwear plays a vital role in managing flat feet. Look for shoes that provide arch support, stability, and cushioning.

2. Physical Therapy Exercises

Specific exercises and stretches can help strengthen the muscles and tissues in your feet, promoting better arch support. Your healthcare professional or a physical therapist can guide you through a personalized exercise program tailored to your needs.

3. Custom-made Orthotics

Custom orthotics are a great treatment option for flat feet. They are made using a 3D model of your feet for an exact fit and optimal comfort and arch support. They can be modified based on individual needs and preferences to provide relief from specific foot conditions. Fits Perfect offers the fastest way to get your custom orthotics. You can 3D scan your feet using the Fits Perfect app and get your orthotics in the mail.

4. Surgical Intervention

If conservative measures do not provide sufficient relief, surgical intervention may be considered as a last resort. Surgical procedures for flat feet aim to reconstruct or repair the damaged tendons, ligaments, or bones in the feet to restore proper arch support.

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