Flat feet/fallen arches
Having flat feet is also known as having fallen arches, and means the arches of the feet are low or there are no arches.
Flat feet may not cause any pain or problems, but strain can be caused to muscles and ligaments making it painful when walking.
Test yourself for flat feet
You can easily test yourself to see if you might have fallen arches or flat feet. Follow these three steps:
- Get yourfeet
- Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as on grey concrete pavement.
- Step away and look at the prints. If you see complete imprints of the bottom of your feet on the surface, then you’re likely to have flat feet.
Many young children have flat feet, a condition referred to as flexible flat feet. When the child stands, the feet look flat. However, when the child rises to his or her toes, a slight arch appears. In most cases, as children grow older, the arches develop.
Other factors that can increase your risk include:
Causes of flat feet and fallen arches
Flat feet in adults can arise from a variety of causes. Here are the most common:
- An abnormality that is present from birth
- Stretched or torn tendons
- Damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon (PTT), which connects from your lower leg, along yourankle and to the middle of the arch
- Broken or dislocatedbones
- Some health conditions such asrheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve problems
Symptoms of flat feet and fallen arches
Many people have flat feet – and notice no problems and require no treatment. However, others may experience the following symptoms:
- Feet tire easily
- Painful or achy feet, especially in the areas of the arches and heels
- The inside bottom of your feet becomesswollen
- Foot movement such as standing on your toes is difficult
- Back andleg pain