It’s common for people to inherit flat feet or develop them over time. If you’re one of them, you may be surprised to hear that flat foot is treatable and you’re not just stuck with everyday pain and discomfort. The team of podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatment to help you manage the effects of flat feet. For your convenience, there are five New Jersey offices, in Warren, Woodbridge, South Plainfield, Hillsborough, and East Brunswick. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Pragnesh Patel, DPM, or Jyotsna Thapar, DPM, online, or over the phone today.
Your feet are supposed to have an upward curve in the middle of your foot called an arch. If you have flat feet, you’re missing a normal foot arch, and you either no arch or a very low arch. That means your entire foot, or most of it, makes contact with the ground when you stand.
The condition usually affects both feet, but it’s possible to have only one flat foot. It’s possible for your arches to never develop during your childhood as they’re supposed to. You may also develop normal arches, which then collapse when you’re an adult, a condition known as “fallen arches.”
Flat feet can be either rigid or flexible. If they’re rigid, your arches are never visible. If they’re flexible, you have an arch when there’s no pressure on your feet, but not when you’re standing.
You only need to seek treatment for flat feet if the condition is causing you pain or discomfort. It’s possible to have a flat foot and experience no problems.
It’s relatively common for people with flat feet to experience foot pain, or for their feet to tire easily. That’s because when you have flat feet, your body distributes your weight unevenly, placing additional pressure on your feet. Your feet may also be swollen, and you may have trouble moving them.
Flat feet can increase your risk of other foot complications, like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and shin splints. Be sure to schedule an appointment at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. if you have any concerning symptoms or notice any changes in the arches of your feet. If your feet have become flatter recently, it could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or tendon damage.
There’s no cure for flat feet, but pain and other symptoms usually improve with conservative treatment. To relieve the pressure on your feet, your podiatrist may recommend wearing shoes with custom-made orthotics that support your arches and cushion and stabilize your feet.
In addition to proper footwear, your podiatrist may recommend performing stretches to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet and taking anti-inflammatory medication as needed.
In some cases, flat feet cause severe pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, and the next step may be surgery. This usually involves repairing damaged tendons but can also involve joint fusion or reshaping bone to improve the alignment in your foot.
To schedule an appointment at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J., call one of the offices or use the online booking tool.