Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Help for Your Flat Feet

Have you ever looked at your footprint and realized you could see the entire imprint of the bottom of your foot? If so, there’s a good chance you have flat feet, the most common foot problem in the United States.

Dr. Svetlana Malinsky has helped many patients who have pain and discomfort due to flat feet. She and her team are experienced in evaluating the mechanics of your standing and walking to determine what can work best to improve the health of your feet. In this blog, we explain the condition and describe your treatment options.

Pediatric flat feet

Your feet may not have ever developed an arch. When you’re born, your feet are flat. Around age 3, most children start developing an arch. If that doesn’t happen, you have what’s known as pediatric flat foot. 

Some children with flat feet appear to have an arch when they’re sitting, but when they stand, their feet flatten. This is called flexible flat foot. If a child’s foot always appears flat, sitting or standing, it’s called rigid flat foot. Rigid flat foot is less common than flexible flat foot, and it may cause problems into adulthood. 

Adult-acquired flat feet

Adult-acquired flat foot is sometimes referred to as having fallen arches. There are several ways you can end up with flat feet as an adult. The most common is damage to a specific tendon — the posterior tibial tendon. 

Your posterior tibial tendon connects your calf muscle to the bottom of your foot. It’s largely responsible for holding up your arch. If this tendon becomes inflamed or torn, your arch could fall. Age, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure put you at risk of having problems with your posterior tibial tendon.

Arthritis, injury to the ligaments in your foot, and diabetic collapse are other ways that adults tend to develop flat feet. 

Problems with flat feet

Many people have flat feet and don’t have any issues at all. You might only know that you have flat feet because of your footprint. Others aren’t so lucky, however. 

In some cases, flat feet can cause issues walking or running or lead to pain in your lower legs or your ankles. Your feet might feel numb, or they might lean in toward each other, a condition called overpronation. 

Treating flat feet

Many treatments can help if you’re experiencing pain due to flat feet. Often, proper support is the key.

Orthotics, inserts for your shoes, are usually a good starting point for easing flat feet discomfort and correcting your gait. They provide support and cushioning. Dr. Malinsky offers different kinds of orthotics, depending on your needs. Prescription orthotics are custom-made exactly for your feet and are quite different from over-the-counter inserts. 

Dr. Malinsky may also suggest you begin doing stretches to improve the flexibility of your foot and performing certain exercises to strengthen the structures that support your foot. Rest and ice may be helpful, too. 

Sometimes, losing weight can decrease the strain on your arch and allow your arch to rise again. If carrying excess weight is contributing to your flat feet, our staff may suggest weight loss as a way of reducing the discomfort you feel in your feet. 

In some cases, surgery is the best intervention to correct flat feet. Dr. Malinsky may recommend surgery to repair a tendon or ligament or reshape the bones in your foot so they’re more correctly aligned.

You don’t have to live with pain caused by flat feet. Treatments that can help are available. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Malinsky today to find out what your best options may be.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Importance of Diabetic Foot Care

If you have diabetes, you should know that you need to take extra good care of your feet. What does diabetes have to do with your feet? Keep reading to find out why diabetic foot care is so important.

Why Do I Have Plantar Warts?

You’ve probably had a wart before, and whether you were aware of it or not, you’ve likely had a wart on the bottom of your foot. Those are common plantar warts, and here’s what you need to know about them.

Solutions for Your Heel Pain

Is heel pain slowing you down? Determining the underlying cause of your heel pain is an important step in finding ways to ease the pain so you can get on with your life. Click to learn more about heel pain and finding the right solution.

5 Unexpected Benefits of Custom Orthotics

If you have chronic pain, you may be considering custom orthotics and trying to decide whether to make the investment. Here are five benefits of prescription orthotics that you may not have considered.