Concerns About Flatfoot

What is Flatfoot?

Flatfoot is a condition where the arch of the foot is lowered or flattened out. One foot or both feet may be affected.

What causes flatfoot?

In some patients, flatfoot is an inherited condition, while in others it may develop as the result of an injury or condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, or diabetes.

Will my flatfoot cause problems?

While a flatfoot generally will not cause any other serious health problems, it can add unnecessary strain to the body.

Your feet go through many phases as you walk. When they are moving properly, they flatten and regain their arches. But if things are out of alignment, your feet may flatten more than they should. If this happens, some of the bones are forced to support too much weight. The muscles then pull harder on these areas, making it more difficult for the tendons and ligaments to do their job. This can lead to many problems including foot fatigue, heel pain and knee, hip or back pain. You can compare this to the wheels of a car. If the front wheels are out of alignment, you sacrifice efficiency and comfort, and increase the wear and tear on the machine.

Often symptoms begin due to:

  • Changes in work environment
  • Minor injury
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Excessive standing, walking, jumping, or running
  • Poorly fitted footwear

What are my treatment options?

The best treatment option for flatfoot is a custom orthotic. The Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians, offers a new computerized test that analyzes each person’s foot in motion. This test measures and records information as you walk across a special mat containing 960 separate sensors. Using this computerized information Footmax ™ orthotics are designed which correct any irregularities in your foot movement patterns. This unique testing system allows the doctors at the Institute to offer you state of the art evaluation and treatment. Learn more about custom orthotics.

Stretching exercises may also be helpful to alleviate symptoms of flatfoot. Surgery is rarely needed to correct flatfoot or to alleviate symptoms.