What are flat feet? What causes it? Is it serious? Who are at risk? How is it treated? These are the questions that need to be answered if ever you want to familiarize yourself with the most common foot deformity that is ever known. Who knows when or if you will be ever affected by this deformity but knowing some of the basic facts can be of great help if you or an acquaintance will ever get one.
What are flat feet?
This is a foot deformity in which the arch of the foot collapses which causes the entire or most of the entire sole to come into contact with the ground. It causes the width of the instep to become smaller as compared to those of regular feet. It is often associated with pronation or the tendency of the ankle bones to lean inward.
What causes it?
In children where flat foot is common, it is caused by the fact that the arch is not yet fully developed. Also, the presence of baby fat can mask the underdeveloped arches which give the impression of flat footedness. However, it will gradually disappear as the child learns to walk and grow from childhood to adulthood.
In adults, flat foot is commonly caused by wear and tear brought about by aging and too much abuse of the foot. It can also come as a result of too much wearing of heels or any – ill fitting shoe. Aside from that it can also come as a result of prolonged standing or moving around.
Is it serious?
Flat feet do not usually cause problems unless it causes pain and discomfort. This is because it usually to other ailments and diseases like bunions, heel spurs, back and knee pain and arthritis. This pain and discomfort can also make it very difficult to walk or move around which can greatly affect the personal activities of the individual.
Who are at risk?
Anyone can acquire a flat foot. Infants and children are generally prone but it will disappear over time. Adults are also prone especially those who are aging and tend to use their feet most of the time. It is also commonly seen on pregnant women due to temporary body changes like increased elasticity.
How is it treated?
Treatment of flat feet usually starts with by minimizing or removing the pain and discomfort that it causes. This can be achieved through the use of medication. This also helps in reducing any swelling or inflammation that has resulted. Afterwards, wearing a good – fitting and well – cushioned shoe can provide as a support for the foot arch. However, the most effective means of treating flat feet is through the use of orthotic devices or shoe inserts which can be custom – made to suit any person’s feet depending on his or her needs. If all the prior treatments are found to be not effective, surgery can be tried as a last resort.
Once you know the answer to what are flat feet and the other questions that are related to this medical condition, you will not be afraid because it would be a great help in preventing the occurrence of one.