Flat feet or low arch of the foot occurs when there is no gap between your sole and the ground or very little distance. This means that your foot is flat or almost flat on the floor. A child causes the arch or depression of the foot, and the soles of the feet may not have an angle when standing due to the presence of soft tissues, and this arch can be seen only if the child stands on the toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs for various reasons, such as injuries, genetic factors, osteoarthritis, or other diseases. Sometimes excessive pressure on the foot, muscle imbalance, and pressure from body weight can cause abnormalities in the foot’s natural arch.
Treatment of flat feet depends on the symptoms and the leading cause of the disease.
Treatment will not be necessary in some cases if the flat foot does not cause pain or any other problem. The doctor suggests unique treatment options for patients, including medication, arch support devices, physical therapy, and stretching exercises.
Causes of Flat Feet
Flat feet have many causes. One of the most common of these causes is genetics. Plantar fasciitis is found in families passed down from parents to children. A weak arch of the foot can also cause flat feet. In such cases, there is an arch, but it flattens when standing.
Injuries such as fractures or dislocations of the bones and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis can cause flat feet. Neurological and muscular disorders such as cerebral palsy have also been shown to cause flat feet. Injury to the dorsal tibial tendon is another cause of flat feet. This tendon connects the bottom of your foot to the center of the foot’s arch.
Complications of Flat Feet
Some people with plantar fasciitis develop complications if treatment is delayed. People with foot and ankle problems may find that flat feet can worsen symptoms. Flat feet can lead to complications such as the following:
- Flat feet can put more strain on the muscles and joints of the foot.
- Flat feet can cause pain and swelling in the leg, a condition that causes pain in the inner edge of the tibia. Flat feet in athletes are more like stress fractures in the tibia.
- People who have flat feet and wear inappropriate shoes develop a condition known as a foot bunion. The bayonet is a disease that affects the base joint of the big toe.
- Flat feet can increase the risk of joint inflammation, which affects the Achilles tendon due to increased stress on the heel and ankle.
- A condition that causes the toes to deform due to torsion or curvature of the toe. Flat feet may cause a hammertoe. Hammer’s toe occurs due to an imbalance in the muscles or ligaments that keep the thumb straight.
How to Fix Flat Feet
There are many ways you can treat your flat feet. Here are some ways you can take care of your flat feet and relieve pain:
Wear Supportive and Appropriate Shoes
If you have flat feet, choose shoes that support the arch of your foot. The best shoes for the sole are shoes that have good arch support. Fortunately, many shoe manufacturers make shoes for people with flat feet.
Supporting the arch of the foot is very important because it absorbs shock. Therefore, for those who suffer from flat feet and are not naturally able to absorb the shocks to the soles of the feet, it is necessary to use these shoes. The inside of the shoe should be able to hold your foot in a neutral position. This means raising the arch and supporting the heels. Shoes should also be perfectly sized so that there is not much friction when moving.
Shoe Insole or Orthotics
Buying the right pair of shoes may not be enough. For this reason, the use of medical insoles or custom orthoses will be necessary. The best insoles, just like shoes, should have high arches to provide adequate support for the soles of your feet. However, make sure that the insole is precisely the size of your foot and that it fits snugly in your shoe.
In addition to insoles, orthotics provide better support for the foot’s arch. They also help control movement, an essential element in ensuring that you are not in pain. You can also make custom orthoses to fit your feet perfectly.
Occasionally, immobility is necessary to correct a flat foot. You are staying, and the foot’s stiffness helps repair torn tendons and puts your foot in the proper position of the joints. Immobility can be done with a wrist brace called an ankle or boot orthosis.
Immobility helps prevent the development of flat feet and any other deformities that flat feet can cause on your ankles. After the foot has remained stable, treatment should be continued with custom orthoses for best results.
Research has shown that many people who go through a period of inactivity get so much better that they may just need injections or orthoses for everyday life.
Ankle Orthosis Devices
Ankle orthosis (AFO) devices maintain proper ankle alignment and control your movement. These devices tighten the back of your leg and the bottom of your foot and cause the ankle to move. These AFOs have raised arches to support your flat foot.
Rest and Freeze
A flat foot can put a lot of stress on the lower limbs because you do not have a shock absorber. In addition, it can hinder you a little and make you very tired at the end of the day.
Proper rest is essential because it allows your muscles to relax and refill. Ice is good for times when you feel pain in your legs and helps relieve pain and reduce muscle inflammation.
Avoid activities that cause you pain. Such exercises can include long-distance driving, standing for long periods, running or jogging, lifting or carrying heavyweights, and kicking.
Avoiding such activities will protect your foot from further injury. It also reduces inflammation and gives torn muscles or tendons a chance to heal.
Maintain a Normal Weight
Having a flat foot is bad enough, but being overweight can worsen. Some people rupture tendons by putting too much pressure on the arch of their feet. When losing weight, provide the relief your legs need to feel better and notice the pain.
If you have pain in your legs, you can use pain relievers such as NSAIDs or ibuprofen. This medicine is needed only in cases where the pain is unbearable because the use of the medication does not eliminate the problem.
Corticosteroids are a common source of pain relief from flat feet. But they should only be used by people who experience a lot of pain, and even oral pain relievers cannot relieve it.
Corticosteroids provide good pain relief and can also reduce foot inflammation. They do not have a permanent solution and can be very addictive. Therefore, it is essential to use them sparingly.
Physiotherapy Management For Flat Foot
Physiotherapy is ideal for caring for a naturally flat, non-invasive sole. Physiotherapists use a combination of different techniques to relieve problems with flat feet. At first, they teach you some exercises that you can do even at home to alleviate foot pain.
A physiotherapist also uses massage, ultrasound, and special tapes to create a temporary arch. Although some physiotherapy methods do not offer permanent solutions, they are very effective in relieving pain.
Exercise is essential for flat feet because it helps your leg muscles relax, strengthens the legs, increases blood circulation, improves flexibility and mobility, and stretches and relaxes tendons and ligaments. They are in pain.
These exercises should increase arch strength, stretch essential muscles and tendons, and improve your flexibility. For example, you can raise the heel to strengthen the arch. Place your feet on a high, stable platform, such as a stairwell.
Place the front of your foot on the stairs. Raise your heels so that only the tips of your feet touch the stairs. Hold yourself in the highest position and then slowly lower yourself and resist the force of gravity to bring your feet down the stairs.
Avoid High-Impact Sports
High-impact sports such as rugby and football can do a lot of damage. These exercises also put a lot of pressure on your legs and make them difficult to heal, thus increasing your pain. If you do light exercises such as walking or jogging, make sure you have the right shoes for controlled movement and excellent support.
Flat Foot Surgery
Most people can survive with a flat foot without the need for surgery. However, sometimes surgery is unavoidable. If all of the non-surgical methods listed do not work, surgery may be an option. Also, surgery can be beneficial if your flat feet cause problems that can be corrected through surgery, such as abnormal bone growth.
Surgery can be considered when you want a permanent solution to the cause of flat feet. If you go under the razor, the problem will be solved forever in most cases.