You may have observed that for most people, the soles of the feet are not entirely flat. Somewhere in the middle, you will notice a slight arch forming. However, for some people, there is little or no arch. The medical term for this condition is pes planus, but it is more commonly known as a flat foot.
Flat feet are often caused by genetics. It is something people are often born with. However, some people develop flat feet as a result of an injury from an accident, wear and tear, or overuse.
Having flat feet doesn’t necessarily mean you need treatment. In fact, many people with flat feet are able to live normal, symptom-free lives. However, for some, flat feet can cause some uncomfortable symptoms that need addressing. In such situations, a podiatrist can help.
Examining Flat Feet
If you’re concerned about your feet, talk to a podiatrist. Self-diagnosing yourself with flat feet is not a good idea. Everyone has different sized arches in their feet. What you consider to be a normal arch may not actually be one. Additionally, your symptoms could be unrelated to your arches. A podiatrist can examine your feet, assess your symptoms, and give you an accurate diagnosis. This is the first step to finding an effective treatment.
Treating Flat Feet
There are a lot of treatments for flat feet. It’s best to seek treatment as soon as you get diagnosed, so your symptoms don’t get worse. Your podiatrist may advise the following treatments to you:
Most of these stretches are easy, making them ideal to do at home or even at work. These exercises focus on strengthening, engaging, and lengthening the muscles and tendons in your feet.
- Heel stretches
- Golf ball rolls
- Arch lifts
- Calf raises
Pain Relief Medications or Corticosteroids
In some cases, your flat feet may cause you to experience unbearable pain. This type of situation calls for immediate relief, which is where pain relievers step in. Medications can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are typically administered through injections and work to reduce inflammation.
Orthotics are another effective treatment for flat feet symptoms. You can use these for extra arch support as well as to relieve unnecessary stress on your feet. You can choose between ready-made orthotics or custom-made ones for a better fit. Stability shoes are also good at giving you extra cushioning.
In some cases, nonsurgical treatments do not work. When they don’t, or if a foot injury, such as a torn or ruptured tendon, has happened, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Additional Home Remedies
Other than the treatments mentioned above, there are easy remedies you can do at home to get relief from flat foot symptoms.
- Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. When you exercise, go to work, or are going out for a busy day, make sure to wear shoes that will cushion and support your feet.
- Work toward a healthier lifestyle. Conditions like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure can increase the risk of developing flat feet and can even make the condition worse.
Podiatric Care for Flat Feet in South Texas
If you suffer from flat feet and would like to explore treatments that can help you find relief, contact the experts at The Podiatry Group of South Texas. Our doctors offer excellent treatment options for any foot or ankle issue you may be experiencing.
To make an appointment, give us a call at (210) 227-8700. You can also request an appointment online.