Flat feet occur when the arch of the foot is too low while in a standing position. Although the foot naturally flattens somewhat when it bears weight, flat feet retain little or no arch at all, putting the entire sole of the foot into contact with the ground. Flat feet are a common cause of foot, ankle, leg, and back pain due to insufficient support of the body’s weight during standing or movement.
Chronic Muscle Strain
Flat feet are not as proficient at keeping the body stable as feet that have a normal arch. As a consequence, people with flat feet are at a higher risk of developing chronic muscle strain as the muscles of the body are forced to compensate for the foot’s lack of stability. While your body may be able to adapt to your foot’s lack of support during everyday activities, when you increase your activity level by even a small amount, it can cause significant pain and muscle strain.
Leg and Back Pain
Normal feet are designed to keep the entire lower body in the proper configuration when you stand or walk. Flat feet do not provide the same foundation for healthy posture. As the foot collapses toward the ground, the lower legs tend to rotate inward. This inward rotation can affect the entire leg, including the hips, leading to long-term leg and back pain.
Flat feet are a common cause of general musculoskeletal pain and problems. Your body’s balance begins in the feet; when the feet do not provide proper support, it can raise your risk for joint problems caused by poor posture and unnatural gait. Individuals with flat feet could be more likely to experience injury or pain in the feet, ankles, knees, or hips.
Treatment options for flat feet range from custom orthotics to minimally-invasive foot surgery to correct the arch. If you’d like to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of flat feet, contact your Sugar Land podiatrist by calling Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists at (832) 532-1197 or filling out our convenient web contact form.