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Flat Feet

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.

Symptoms 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:

  • Foot tiredness
  • Swelling
  • Pain in the heel or arch area (may worsen with activity)
  • Foot stiffness
  • Uneven wearing of shoes
  • Imbalance (particularly if only one foot in affected)
  • Back and leg pain

Flat feet also can contribute to problems in your ankles, knees and back as the condition can alter the alignment of your legs.

Flat Feet Risk Factors

Factors that can increase your risk of flat feet include:

  • Obesity
  • Injury to your foot or ankle
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy

Treatment of Flat Feet

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:

  • Your arches have recently dropped.
  • You are experiencing pain in your lower limbs.
  • Supportive, well-fitting shoes fail to help your aching feet.
  • Your feet feel stiff or heavy.
  • The condition is interfering with activities

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.

Summa Foot and Ankle Specialist

Jeffrey Junko, M.D.


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.