Feet are often overlooked and somewhat taken for granted in our daily lives until they start causing pain. One cause of pain may be so called ‘flat feet’ or fallen arches which sometimes can be painful, though sometimes not! John Balshaw offers some advice if you think you have flat feet:
Flat feet, fallen arches or Pes Planus to give it the clinical name is quite simply a loss of the medial arch in the foot. This means that either some or all of the sole in in contact with the ground. Some people have flat feet from birth, some develop flat feet due to injury or a health condition but in most cases they don’t cause any pain at all. However, there are cases where flat feet can either cause foot pain or pain in the legs and back too.
Many children have flat feet at some point but this will usually rectify itself without intervention. As a symptom it is often associated with conditions such as Dyspraxia, lax ligaments and hypermobility. Those more at risk of developing flat feet in adulthood are those suffering with obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure and it’s generally those who develop flat feet who may experience foot pain.
Treatment can include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Orthotics (quite often, off the shelf orthotics work well)
- Foot Stretches and exercises
- Correct footwear (well fitted, low heeled shoes are usually best)
- Weight loss if necessary
- Surgery is rare but can be a last resort where other treatments have failed
Physiotherapy of podiatry can help too, particularly in more severe cases where there is stiffness/weakness, frequent foot or ankle injuries and problems with walking or balance.
If you think you have flat feet but they aren’t causing pain then you don’t need to do anything other than ensure you have correctly fitting footwear and that you keep yourself active and at a healthy weight!
John Balshaw is currently studying for his BSc in Sports Therapy at Coventry University and is on a 12 month placement with us at Elite Therapy. John is also assisting Nic Sherlock at Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey. John is pictured here (centre) with Seb Johnson (left) and Nic Sherlock (right).