Did you know that each foot contains more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons? These tendons and ligaments help to make the arches of your feet. The arches in your feet help to distribute your body weight and provide a little spring in your step. However, if you have low arches or flat feet, almost the entire bottom of your foot touches the ground when you walk.
Flat feet can be caused by genetics, injury, arthritis, and even overuse. If you have foot pain, we suggest you visit us so we can help you get some relief. At Put Your Feet First, our podiatrist, Dr. Mark Forman, is an expert when it comes to diagnosing and treating flat feet.
Unfortunately, having flat feet (or fallen arches) can cause a lot of discomfort. In this article, we’ll explore five problems that can arise from flat feet.
1. Knee pain
Flat feet don’t just cause problems for your feet; flat feet can contribute to ankle or knee discomfort too. That’s because flat feet can alter the alignment in your legs — from your feet up to your ankles and knees.
As many as 22% of people diagnosed with flat feet also complained of knee pain in one study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research. The same researchers found that those with flat feet were 1.3 times more likely to have knee pain and/or cartilage damage.
2. Pain and discomfort in your feet
With normal arches, your tendons and ligaments stabilize your foot. However, when you have flat feet, your tendons and ligaments can’t support your foot properly. This can lead to another problem: sore, achy feet.
Discomfort might be:
- Worse with activity
- Accompanied by swelling
- Exacerbated by ill-fitting shoes with no arch support
You might also find it difficult to move your feet when they’re swollen and achy. Specific movements — like standing on your tiptoes — can be painful or difficult. Your feet may also tire out quickly.
3. Back pain
In addition to causing joint pain and foot pain, fallen arches can also cause lower back pain. According to the experts at WebMD, back pain and leg pain aren’t uncommon with flat feet.
4. Loss of enjoyment in your hobbies
When your feet tire out quickly and fallen arches lead to back pain or joint pain, it’s not surprising if you stop participating in your favorite activities. Hiking or even walking your dog around the block can cause severe discomfort.
Not only does this disrupt your daily routine, but the decreased mobility can keep you from getting regular physical activity.
5. Heel spurs
The excess strain from flat feet can contribute to other foot problems such as heel spurs. Pain in the heel is quite common thanks to the extra burden placed on the tendons and ligaments once your arches fall.
Treatments for flat feet
There are many contributing factors when it comes to fallen arches. The normal aging process, wear and tear, injuries, overuse, and obesity can all contribute to flat feet. Regardless of what causes your tendons and ligaments to collapse, treatments can focus on supporting your foot to help reduce pain and discomfort.
You can treat pain and discomfort at home by using ice packs or cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain. Wearing well-fitting, supportive shoes is also beneficial.
Depending on your specific needs, you might also benefit from custom-made orthotic devices, stretching, and/or physical therapy. For extreme cases of flat fleet, Dr. Forman may suggest surgery to repair a torn tendon and preserve your mobility.
Don’t let flat feet keep you from living the life you want. Call our office in Scottsdale, Arizona, at 480-423-8400. You can also book your appointment right here on our website.