Going forward with flat feet

Flat feet are a very common condition seen by podiatrists such as Dr. Harvey Danciger in Coachella Valley, CA. They are normal in infants and toddlers as continue to develop through childhood.

You can tell if you have flat feet by observing your feet while standing up. If your entire arch and sole of your foot touches the ground, you most likely have flat feet. Many also know it referred to as “fallen arches.” Flat feet are often associated with something called pronation, which is when your anklebone leans inward. Even though having flat feet is such a common foot condition, most don’t experience any problems or pain associated with them

When flat feet put too much strain on muscles and ligaments and become painful, Dr. Danciger will diagnose patients with adult-acquired flat foot condition. There is a tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and helps support your arch. It is called the posterior tibial tendon and when it becomes stretched, inflamed or torn, it will cause the arch to begin to fall. 

Symptoms of painful flat feet 

Many patients describe the following symptoms when they visit Dr. Danciger’s podiatric office for evaluation: 

  • Pain in the heel or arch
  • Swelling on the inside of the ankle
  • Pain that gets worse with activity or after standing for long periods of time

Risk factors for painful flat feet

While most cases of painful flat feet cannot be prevented, knowing the risk factors will help in seeking early treatment.

  • Obesity                                                            
  • Women over 40 years of age
  • Trauma to the foot                     
  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis                  
  • Hypertension
  • Aging                                                
  • Involvement in high impact sports 

It is important to note that having flat feet can impact other areas of your body as well. The condition tends to alter the alignment of your legs leaving ankles and knees prone to issues as well. Ignoring the pain from flat feet and leaving them untreated can lead to chronic pain and even disability in severe cases. This makes early intervention and treatment key in the effort to keep feet healthy long-term. 

Treatment options for painful flat feet 

After a thorough evaluation and diagnosis of the cause of your flat feet, Dr. Danciger will be able to provide a treatment plan tailored to your foot needs. The following are all effective ways to treat painful flat feet depending on the severity of the problem:

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines                                
  • Taping/bracing
  •  Icing                                                                                                  
  • Good, supportive footwear
  • Stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon   
  • Physical therapy
  • Orthotics                                                                                        
  • Weight loss 

Orthotics are an especially effective treatment option as they are custom molded specifically to your feet. They help with pronation as they keep feet stabilized and can alleviate pain and reduce symptoms associated with painful flat feet. 

Extra weight puts significant pressure on feet and can aggravate symptoms of flat feet. Making efforts to lose weight, rest when needed and avoiding activities that make painful flat feet worse are simple steps you can take at home. 

It is only in severe cases, or when tendons have actually been torn that surgery would be necessary. In some cases, it is required to repair damaged tendons in an effort to allow feet to have normal functioning again.

We all expose our feet to much wear and tear. If you have flat feet and are experiencing pain, do not hesitate to seek treatment. Call our office today at (760) 568-0108 to schedule an appointment or visit our homepage

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle