Flat Foot: Introduction
  • Also known as fallen arches,
  • No arch in feet or one that is very low.

Usually, there is a gap beneath the inner part of the foot when a person stands, as the arch raises off the ground slightly.

Flat feet only need treatment if-

  1. cause discomfort.
  2. indicate an underlying disorder
  3. lead to pain elsewhere in the body.

*Some people appear to have a very low arch or no arch without ever experiencing problems.

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Flat feet: Symptoms, exercises, diagnosis, and treatment

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The most common symptom of flat feet is pain in the feet. This can occur as a result of strained muscles and connecting ligaments.

Abnormal stresses on the knee and hip may result in pain in these joints. These stresses are likely if the ankles turn inward.

Major areas of pain-

  • arch of the foot
  • calf
  • knee
  • hip
  • lower back
  • lower legs

*Flat feet can also cause an uneven distribution of body weight. This may result in shoes wearing down unevenly or more quickly than usual, especially on one side, which can lead to further injuries.

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  • genetic factors, as flat feet can pass from parents to children in the genes
  • weak arches: arch is visible when a person sits but foot flattens onto the when standing
  • foot or ankle injury
  • damage, dysfunction, or rupture of the posterior tibial tendon
  • nervous system or muscle diseases, such as cerebral palsy , muscular dystrophy , or spina bifida

Another condition is tarsal coalition. Causes the bones of the foot to fuse together unusually, resulting in stiff and flat feet.

People are more likely to develop flat feet if they have obesity or diabetes . Flat feet are also common during pregnancy.

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  • Flat feet can develop with age too. Daily use of the feet can cause the posterior tibial tendon to weaken. This tendon is the primary support structure for the foot arch.
  • Flat feet can also occur as a result of a developmental fault that occurs during childhood or that develops with age or after pregnancy.
  • Children and infants may often appear to have flat feet.

*Having feet that appear flat during early childhood does not mean that a person will always have flat feet.

However, a child might have flat feet as a result of incorrect bone development or another condition, such as spina bifida.

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  1. People with flat feet who do not experience pain or other symptoms, do not require a consultation with a doctor.
  2. However, anyone with the following symptoms should seek medical advice:
  • flat feet that have only developed recently.
  • pain in the feet, ankles, or lower limbs.
  • symptoms that do not improve with supportive, well-fitted shoes.
  • one or both feet becoming more flat
  • the feet feeling rigid, stiff, heavy, and unwieldy

*Most qualified healthcare professionals can diagnose fallen arches by examining the feet and observing the individual as they stand and walk.

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  1. Inspection of feet from the front and back.

-The individual may need to stand on the tips of their toes to allow the doctor to examine the shape and function of each foot.e

2. Medical history. In some cases, they may order an X-ray, CT scan , or MRI scan .

3. Foot prints on a paper.

-Inked sole imprinted on a white sheet, to check the visibility of the arches.

*Podiatrist or physical therapist may recommend specific exercises to manage the symptoms of flat feet or prevent them from developing.

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HEEL CORD STRETCHING

A tight Achilles tendon will encourage the foot to roll inward. The aim of heel cord stretching is to stretch the Achilles tendon and posterior calf muscles.

  • Stand facing a wall and place one hand on the wall at eye level.
  • Place the leg that needs stretching approximately one step behind the other leg, and plant the heel firmly on the ground.
  • Bend the knee of the front leg until you feel a stretch in the back leg.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat nine more times.
  • It is essential to avoid arching the back and to keep it straight.

Perform it twice a day.

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THE GOLF BALL ROLL

This exercise requires a chair and a golf ball.

  1. Sit on the chair with your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Place the golf ball under the foot, and roll it forward and back under the arch of the foot for 2 minutes to stretch the plantar fascia ligaments.

*Some people with flat feet may automatically align their limbs in a way that prevents symptoms. People who are not experiencing symptoms do not usually require treatment.

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  • Fitted insoles and orthotics or custom-designed arch supports may relieve pressure on the arch and reduce pain if the feet roll too far inward.

*However, these products only treat the symptoms and do not provide long-lasting benefits.

  • Wearing an ankle brace may be beneficial until the inflammation reduces.
  • A person with arthritis or a ruptured tendon might find that a combination of an insole and pain relievers minimizes the symptoms. If these do not work, surgery may be necessary.
  • When obesity is the cause of flat feet, losing weight might improve the symptoms. Or surgical removal of excess fat.

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