There are two types of flat feet: rigid and flexible, with flexible being the most common. Unlike rigid flatfoot where the arch is never present, the arch in flexible flatfoot is present when the foot is elevated and flattens upon standing. Flexible flatfoot in children is generally not concerning because their arches typically develop between the ages of 7 and 10. It is said that up to 25% of kids will continue to have flexible flatfoot as adults. While flexible flatfoot in children and adults may not always produce symptoms, the condition may cause tired, achy feet after walking, leg cramps, overpronation—where the ankles roll inward while walking—and foot or ankle pain. Flexible flatfoot may be inherited and indicative of loose ligaments and flexible joints throughout the body. If flatfoot develops during adulthood, it could be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or neuropathy. Contact a podiatrist for more information about flat feet and to explore various treatment options.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flatfoot is a condition in which the arch of the foot is depressed and the sole of the foot is almost completely in contact with the ground. About 20-30% of the population generally has flat feet because their arches never formed during growth.
Conditions & Problems:
Having flat feet makes it difficult to run or walk because of the stress placed on the ankles.
Alignment – The general alignment of your legs can be disrupted, because the ankles move inward which can cause major discomfort.
Knees – If you have complications with your knees, flat feet can be a contributor to arthritis in that area.
- Pain around the heel or arch area
- Trouble standing on the tip toe
- Swelling around the inside of the ankle
- Flat look to one or both feet
- Having your shoes feel uneven when worn
If you are experiencing pain and stress on the foot you may weaken the posterior tibial tendon, which runs around the inside of the ankle.