It’s common for people to inherit flat feet or develop them over time. If you’re one of them, you may be surprised to hear that flat feet are treatable and you’re not just stuck with everyday pain and discomfort. At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care in El Monte, California, experienced podiatrist Ebram Abdelmalak, DPM, offers both nonsurgical and surgical treatment to help you manage the effects of flat feet. To learn more, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Your feet have tendons—bands of tissue that are supposed to form an upward curve in the middle of your foot called an arch. If you have flat feet, you’re missing a normal foot arch and either has none at all or a very low arch. That means your entire foot makes contact with the ground when you stand.
The condition usually affects both feet, but it’s possible to have only one flat foot. It’s also possible for your arches to never develop during your childhood as they’re supposed to. You may also develop normal arches, which then collapse when you’re an adult, known as “fallen arches.”
Flat feet can be either rigid or flexible. If they’re rigid, your arches are never visible. If they’re flexible, you can see an arch when there’s no pressure on your feet, but not when you’re standing.
You only need to seek treatment for flat feet if the condition is causing you pain or discomfort. It’s possible to have flat feet and experience no problems.
It’s fairly common for people with flat feet to experience foot pain, or for their feet to tire easily. That’s because when you have flat feet, your body distributes your weight unevenly, placing additional pressure on your feet. Your feet may also be swollen, and you may have trouble moving them.
Flat feet can increase your risk of other foot complications, like plantar fasciitis, bunions, and neuromas. Be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Abdelmalak if you have any concerning symptoms or notice any changes in your feet.
If you noticed that your feet have become flatter recently, it’s a good idea to seek treatment. This could be a sign of an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or tendon damage.
There’s no cure for flat feet, but pain and other symptoms usually improve with conservative treatment. To relieve the pressure on your feet, Dr. Abdelmalak may recommend wearing shoes with custom-made orthotics that support your arches and cushion and stabilize your feet.
In addition to proper footwear, Dr. Abdelmalak may recommend performing stretches to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet and taking anti-inflammatory medication as needed.
In some cases, flat feet cause severe pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment. The next step may be surgery. This usually involves repairing damaged tendons but can also involve joint fusion or reshaping the bone to improve the alignment in your foot.
To schedule an appointment at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Care, call or use the online booking tool.