Flat feet (pes planus) is a complex structural disorder resulting in the lowering of the foot’s arch on weight-bearing.
Flat feet are sometimes called ‘fallen arches’ or ‘excessive pronation’ of the feet. A person with flat feet needs a biomechanical and functional assessment to determine whether they are at risk of long-term complications. People with flat feet may have foot, ankle, knee or lower back pain.
With any pain the most important starting place is obtaining a confirmed diagnosis from an experienced health professional. Any pain of sudden and severe onset must be investigated urgently by your podiatrist, doctor, or suitably qualified health professional.
Flat feet due to injury, disease, or normal aging is often not preventable. In some cases, flat feet are caused by a physical abnormality in the structure of the bones of the feet. Diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to flat feet. An injury, such as a bone fracture, dislocation, sprain or tear in any of the tendons and ligaments in the foot and leg may also cause flat feet.
Symptoms of flat feet
The main symptom of flat feet is the absence of an arch when standing. Other symptoms may include:
- Foot pain
- Pain or weakness in the lower legs
- Pain or swelling on the inside of the ankle
- Uneven foot wear
Management of flat feet
The focus when treating flat feet is managing symptoms so that you are able to function without pain or disability. Sudden development of a flat foot requires immediate medical attention.
Management of flat feet may include some of the following:
- Seek professional assistance - from your podiatrist, medical professional
- Activity modification - reduce activities that cause your pain.
- Physical therapy - an exercise programme and other physical therapy modalities may be used to provide temporary relief.
- Weight loss - if you are overweight this may aggravate your symptoms.
- Orthotics - your podiatrist can provide you with Formthotics for your shoes to improve your function and provide support to the foot structures.
- Footwear - wear shoes that support the function of the foot and are appropriate for your activity.
- Immobilisation - occasionally, it may be necessary to use a walking cast or to completely avoid weight-bearing.
- Medication - anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen may help reduce pain and inflammation.
Formthotics™ can help relieve symptoms of flat feet.
Formthotics support the structures of the foot to encourage optimal function and even pressure distribution. In doing this they reduce fatigue, increase shock absorption and reduce pain.
Formthotics dual density products add a cushioning layer on top of the supportive structure of Formthotics. The Formax™ dual density foam provides increased shock absorption and even pressure distribution while maintaining a good level of support to optimise foot function and general comfort.
The Formthotics low profile models offer the clinician options to comfortably support flat feet.
If pain persists we recommend a visit to a podiatrist or medical professional.
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