Do your feet get fatigued quickly? Are you bothered by pain in your arches or heels? You could have flat feet, a condition that develops when the arches of your feet aren’t as high as they should be. About 18 million American adults have flat feet, while another 8 million suffer from fallen arches. 

The good news? Bryon Butts, DPM, and our team at Performance Footcare PC provide comprehensive care for foot conditions, including flat feet, which can put you at risk for serious foot problems. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding the causes of flat feet

The arches of your feet develop during childhood. Babies and young children naturally have flat feet because the tendons that lift foot arches haven’t developed yet. Once children begin walking, those tendons (and their foot arches) develop.

Most adults have normal arches. But sometimes, adults have arches that are too high or too low. Low arches and flat feet may be present from childhood, or flat feet can develop over time.

Your risk of developing flat feet may be higher if you:

  • Are elderly
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Have arthritis
  • Have diabetes
  • Have a history of foot or ankle injury

Fallen arches occur when flat feet develop in adulthood, due to injury and degeneration. These and other health issues can cause damage and inflammation in the tendons of your feet, dropping your arches over time. 

Common complications of flat feet

Your foot arches support your feet, and your feet support your legs, back, and the rest of your body. Many people with flat feet don’t experience foot problems, but others develop complications related to flat feet.

Having flat feet may make your feet tire more quickly, even after short amounts of activity. Other problems that are linked to flat feet include:

  • Arch pain
  • Back or leg pain
  • Heel pain
  • Inability to stand on your toes
  • Pronation of the feet
  • Swelling in the soles of your feet

Flat feet can cause pain almost anywhere from your back to your feet. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, schedule an appointment with Dr. Butts and our team.

Treatment options for flat foot pain

At Performance Footcare PC, we specialize in identifying the cause of your foot pain and developing a treatment plan that’s right for you. We can evaluate your arches with a physical exam to diagnose flat feet.

Dr. Butts generally recommends conservative treatment for flat feet and related symptoms. Your treatment plan could include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Bracing or taping
  • Custom orthotics
  • Icing
  • Physical therapy

In cases of severe injury, we may recommend minimally invasive surgery to repair damaged tendons or foot bones to restore normal foot function.

Flat feet are common, but they don’t have to be a source of discomfort. Contact us online or call the office nearest you for an appointment.

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