Flat Feet Condition – Symptoms & Treatment

Posted on Healthcare By DoctorUna - Published on 2020-02-13



Have you heard the term fallen arches or flat feet? Do you have flat feet and do you experience discomfort due to the condition? Well, you need not despair, fallen arches symptoms can be minimized with proper treatment and exercises. 

What do you mean by flat feet?

People who have a low arch or zero arches in one or both their feet are known to have flat feet. The human foot is made of 33 joints that hold together 26 bones. Besides, there are numerous muscles, ligaments, and tendons. An arch provides a light spring to every step and also helps to evenly distribute the body weight. The arch structure may determine how you walk. Feet arches have to be sturdy, adaptable, and flexible to help you walk on any kind of surface. 

People with flat feet can develop overpronation, which causes the feet to lean to one side or point outwards. People may suffer from irksome symptoms or may not have any signs depending on the severity of the flat feet condition. 

Flat Feet Causes & Symptoms 

Some of the most common causes of such a disorder include the following:

  • Hereditary – Flat feet syndrome can be passed from the parents to their children through the genes 
  • Weak arches – When the arch is clearly visible when the person sits down, but the foot generally flattens down on the ground when he/she stands. 
  • Foot trauma – When a person has undergone severe foot trauma or ankle injury 
  • Tendon damage – When there is rupture or damage of the tibial tendon 
  • Arthritis – When a person suffers from rheumatoid arthritis
  • Nervous system disorders – When a person suffers from cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy 
  • Tarsal coalition – This particular condition causes unusual fusion of the bones in the foot that results in a flat foot 
  • Obesity – People who are obese can develop flat feet condition. For example, pregnant women who gain weight during pregnancy may have flat feet. 
  • Diabetes – Diabetic individuals may also develop flat feet disorder. 
  • Developmental issues – People may develop fallen arches condition due to specific developmental faults that happened at a young age or an older age. 

Flat Feet Symptoms 

Almost everyone with flat feet may experience pain in their feet. The pain could be due to strained muscles and connective ligaments. Too much stress on the hip and knee area can also result in painful joints and can affect other parts like the calf, lower back, arch of the foot, and lower legs. You may also feel stiffness in the feet. There is abnormal or uneven dispersion of the body weight in a person with flat feet symptoms. And there is a risk of further injuries due to quick wear & tear of shoes. 

Children with Flat Feet

Sometimes, it may seem that little kids and infants have flat feet. However, most of them have arches that are still being formed. As they grow older, the arches start developing in a normal way. Many times., the chubby extra fat on a kid's foot can hide the developing arch. Childhood flat feet condition does not mean that the child will have a similar affliction in his adulthood. Only children with abnormal bone development or spina bifida may have to be treated for flat feet disorder. 

Flat Feet Complications 

Often people with flat feet symptoms find that it is adding up to other complications such as the following:

  • Development of arthritis in the ankle and also the foot area 
  • Causing ligament inflammation under the feet called plantar fasciitis 
  • Causing bunions, hammertoes, and Achilles tendonitis 
  • Causing issues such as posterior tibial tendonitis and shin splints 
  • Affecting the alignment of the body posture when one is standing or walking 
  • Causing pain that develops in the hip, knee and ankle areas 

Visiting a Healthcare Specialist 

Doctors who treat foot and ankle diseases are called podiatrists. You may find verified podiatrists in Dubai who can offer detailed diagnosis and treatment for fallen arches by carefully observing your feet and walking pattern. The patients' medical history and X-ray or MRI scan reports are studied before starting the treatment course. 

Treatment for Flat Feet 

People with flat feet symptoms may be advised to visit a physical therapist to begin specific physical training to manage the flat feet symptoms. Some exercises for flat feet disorder include heel cord stretches, pushing against the wall, golf ball roll with the help of a chair and so forth. Painful symptoms require supportive medical shoes with extra width. You can also buy customized arch support shoes with fitted insoles. Doctors may also suggest patients wear special ankle braces to help reduce any inflammation. Doctors can also advise ample rest until the pain subsides and to avoid all unnecessary activities that can worsen the condition. 


Can a flat feet condition cause problems?

Some of the most common issues triggered by flat feet include ankle pain, weakness in the foot arch and leg areas, and inflammation of the soft tissues in the foot. 

Can you fix flat feet?

Doctors can fix flat feet by reducing the pain, offering arch supportive orthotic devices, advising to buy exclusive custom-designed supportive shoes. Doctors may also recommend stretching movements for Achilles tendon relief and physical therapies. 

How will I know if I have developed flat feet?

Flat feet can be easily identified, especially while one is standing or walking. The first visual sign is that the inner foot flattens and the whole foot rolls over towards the inner side (over-pronation) You can stand on your tip-toe to see the flat feet or push the toe backwards as far as you can manage. 

Is there a surgical remedy for flat feet?

A surgical procedure is known as osteotomy that involves cutting and shifting of the bones in the foot. The bones are reconstructed to redesign the arch. The midfoot region and the heel bone are reshaped or rebuilt to get the pronounced arch.


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DoctorUna.com launched in the United Arab Emirates in 2012, Egypt and Jordan in 2013 and recently in Kuwait in 2014. The purpose of DoctorUna is to allow patients to quickly search for doctors from across a broad range of specialties, compare them and easily book a convenient appointment. DoctorUna gives doctors access to a larger pool of patients, streamlines and better manages their appointment booking process so they can spend more time caring for patients.

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