Flat foot is a deformity of the foot which is also called pes planus or fallen arch. It is a postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse, with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. In children who have flat foot at birth, the body usually heals itself within 3 years, but if not, the problem persists till it is treated suing modern techniques and treatments. The arch of the foot is important to the biomechanics of the feet and the collapse of the arch results in imbalance in walking or standing.
As stated earlier, the curve of the foot is related to the biomechanics of the foot. The curve connects the forefoot and the hind foot in an elastic way and helps supporting the force incurred by the foot. It dissipates the weight without increasing pressure on the thigh and the calf muscles and bones. If the arch doesn’t exist, the force falls directly on the thighs and the calves causing injuries and further deformities of the legs and feet.
The gradual lowering of the arch of the foot is one of the first signs of flat foot. Over a period of time, the arch will completely collapse making the entire bottom of the foot to stick to the ground. As the arch begins lowering, pain starts developing in the feet, ankles, lower legs, knees, hips, and lower back. The muscles of all these limbs are connected to each other and the pressure of the upper body strains the muscles. Overpronation or the feet rolling inwards to a great extent causes extreme pain while walking or running and also requires a person to change shoes regularly. Major sign you should keep a check on are:
There are three major types of flat foot based on the anatomy of the condition.
One of the main ways a person acquires flat foot is through their parents. It can be termed a hereditary problem in a way. There are also chances that the feet bones did not get enough time to develop in the womb and hence the child is born with persistent flat feet. Nearly all children are born with flat foot since the muscles and tendons haven’t developed yet. But gradually the muscles develop and raise the arch to its original position. Other major reasons that cause flat foot are:
Wearing proper shoes is a must, as size inappropriate shoes can damage muscles in the feet and result in flat foot. If there are any muscle related problems in the feet, one should immediately consult the doctor so that further complications do not lead to flat foot. There is no way to prevent the condition if it is hereditary.
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Flat Foot is a very common and treatable problem which usually isn’t painful. But the complications it ensues can cause a lot of pain, discomfort, and can many a time severe damage to the legs or feet. The right kind of treatment can help cure the deformity and restore normal feet function
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