Flat feet are one of the leading causes of foot pain, but also one of the hardest causes for people to actually identify. Most people don't understand what flat feet are or how to tell if they have them. If you're struggling with pain and discomfort in your feet, especially after standing on them for an extended period, you may have flat feet and insufficient support in your arches.
Here's a look at what you need to understand about flat feet and how to identify the problem.
What Are Common Indications Of Flat Feet?
Understanding the common indications of flat feet can help you to potentially identify the problem early so that you can seek treatment when necessary. For example:
- Ankle swelling — Swollen ankles by themselves aren't necessarily indicative of flat feet, but when combined with other symptoms, could be a key indication that you have flat feet. Keep an eye on your ankles, especially when you're spending a lot of time on your feet. If you start seeing persistent swelling paired with any other common symptoms, reach out to a local podiatrist for an assessment.
- Trouble standing on your tiptoes — For most people, standing on their tiptoes is simple enough, even if they need a little bit of help to balance. For people with flat feet, standing on their tiptoes is extremely difficult. If you tried to stand on your tiptoes but it's too difficult or painful, talk with your podiatrist for help.
- Pain in your arches or heels — When you have flat feet, the lack of support in your arches and the awkward alignment of your foot to your heel can frequently lead to pain and discomfort in your arches and heels. This is particularly true if you routinely wear shoes with traditional arch support because the support will actually push against your fallen arch and cause more stress and pain.
- Visibly flat feet — If you can stand up and look at the side of your foot where your arch should be and visibly see that your feet sit completely flat on the floor, that's a final determining factor for flat feet. In that situation, you should reach out to a podiatrist right away for support.
How Are Flat Feet Treated?
The right treatment for your flat feet may vary depending on both the severity and the cause. For example, if your flat feet are a direct result of a tendon issue that can't be corrected without surgical intervention, you may have to have corrective surgery. However, many moderate or mild cases can be addressed with physical therapy and the right arch support in your shoe.
Talk with a podiatrist today if you're concerned about your arches.