Flat feet are just as they sound. The arches on the inside of your feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of your feet to touch the floor when you stand up.
A usually painless condition, flat feet can occur when your arches don't develop during childhood. It can also develop after an injury, nerve or joint condition, or over time due to years of wear and tear. Between one in four and one in five adults have some degree of flat feet.
Typical arches in the feet help you to stand, balance, walk, run and jump. They give your feet flexibility and distribute the weight of your body evenly around the foot as you move. However, many people with flat feet don’t have any problems. Those that do may experience:
Flat feet also can contribute to problems in your ankles, knees and back as the condition can alter the alignment of your legs.
Factors that can increase your risk of flat feet include:
If you aren't having pain, treatment is usually unnecessary. However, you should see a Summa orthopedic specialist if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and/or:
A Summa orthopedic specialist may suggest arch supports, stretching exercises, supportive shoes and/or physical therapy. If pain or foot damage is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery.