Also known as “fallen arches” or referred to medically as “pronation,” flat feet are a cause of abnormal bone structure in which the arch of the foot collapses. This in turn causes the entire sole of the foot to come into near or complete contact with the ground.
What Causes Flat Feet?
Flat feet can arise from a variety of causes but the most common are:
- An abnormality often present at birth
- Torn or stretched tendons
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Nerve problems
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Damage to the posterior tibial tendon, the tendon that connects from your lower leg, alongside your ankle, and to the middle of your arch.
Symptoms of Flat Feet
Generally, flat feet do not cause pain or other problems but in some cases they can cause discomfort resulting in pain, which may cause cramps and increased fatigue of the foot and leg. Without treatment, symptoms can increase in severity.
Prevention and Treatment
Unfortunately in most cases, flat feet are not preventable. However, foot muscles can weaken over time due to aging and heavy strain placed on the foot causing arches to fall, which can result in flat feet. Treatment of this condition ranges from arch-supports placed in the shoe to surgical reconstruction of the foot.