Call Kalamazoo Foot and Ankle Specialists to learn about your pain relief options or book an appointment online now.
What are flat feet?
Flat feet, also called fallen arches, happen when the arches on the inside of your feet allow your soles to touch the ground. Proportioned arches ensure that your weight is evenly distributed when your stand. Without this slight gap, your weight can bear down on your entire foot, causing pain and discomfort during physical activity.
What causes flat feet?
Flat feet typically develop during childhood, between the ages of 2 and 3, when the tendons and ligaments start tightening in your feet and legs. If these tendons and ligaments aren’t taut enough to form an arch, it can cause flat feet. While flat feet rarely cause problems during childhood, they can cause pain during adulthood.
You can be at risk of developing flat feet if someone in your family also has them. Older adults and those with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and/or obesity are also at risk of developing flat feet.
Do I need to see a doctor for flat feet?
Many people with flat feet have no symptoms. Some experience pain after heavy physical activity, like running long distances. Over time, you could start to notice pain in your heel or arch area. After a physically demanding workout, you can experience swelling on the inside of the ankle.
If your arches start to fall over time, schedule an appointment with Dr. Maskill. Without proper treatment, you can injure, even tear, the tendon along the inside of your ankle, the one supporting the arch of your foot.
How do doctors diagnose flat feet?
Dr. Maskill thoroughly evaluates how your feet are working. He asks you to stand on your toes to examine your natural arch. He might also ask to look at the impressions in your shoes to see if they show signs of fallen arches.
If your feet or ankles are painful, Dr. Maskill can order imaging tests like X-rays.
How do doctors treat flat feet?
Dr. Maskill treats both pediatric and adult patients for flat feet. Depending on the severity of your condition, he’ll recommend lifestyle changes along with pain-relieving treatment. The most common treatment for flat feet is supportive orthotic shoe inserts. These custom-fitted inserts cushion and support your arches to relieve heel pain.
Because your Achilles tendon, which connects your heel to your calf, can be shortened by flat feet, you might need to do some stretches to relieve discomfort. If you’re a runner, Dr. Maskill can offer form and technique tips to reduce pain after exercise.
If you have flat feet, schedule an appointment by calling Kalamazoo Foot and Ankle Specialists today or book a visit online.