Flat feet is a condition where the foot’s contact with the ground is flatter that the normal person. Having flat feet can cause an overload of structures higher up in the body resulting in sore shins, knees, hips and the lower back.
The arch of the foot is important for shock absorption as well as the adaptions required to walk and run on uneven surfaces. Whilst some people with flat feet do not experience pain it is very common for flat feet to cause fatigue, as the other structures of the foot have to work hard to compensate for the lack of foot structure.
There are many causes of flat feet. Below are the most common causes of flat feet
– Torn muscles in the legs or feet
– Fracture or dislocation of foot bones
– Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
– Poor foot alignment
Less common causes include
– Charcot foot; a condition found in diabetics
– Birth defects
– Tarsal coalition
It is important to treat excessively flat feet as it causes excessive stress and strain on the muscles and joints in the feet, legs, hips and even in the back. There are various treatment options depending on the severity of the condition including custom made orthotics, footwear advice and strapping.