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What Does It Mean to Have Flat Feet?

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We put our feet through a lot. Uncomfortable shoes, standing all day, running, or other sports. But what if your foot pain wasn’t caused by any of that? What if your foot pain was caused by your own biology? Meaning you might have flat feet.

Flat feet are feet that don’t have a proper arch. Your foot might not have an arch for two reasons:

  1. We are all born with flat feet, however, during childhood we develop an arch that creates an upward curve in the middle of our feet. If your arch never developed, it’s likely that it’s hereditary.
  2. If it’s not hereditary, it’s because you have a fallen arch. This means you properly developed your arch when you were growing up, but as you’ve grown older the tendons and ligaments that form the arch have weakened and collapsed.

How does having flat feet affect me?

There are a few concerns when it comes to having flat feet. As Dr. Gary Gray explains it, when you walk, there is a chain reaction. This reaction suggests that when your foot moves, so does your ankle, and knee, and hip. This may sound obvious, but it also means that if there’s something wrong with your feet, it can affect the rest of the joints in your body. If flat feet go untreated, you can put serious strain on the tendons, ligaments, and joints in your legs.

Although they cannot be cured, there are treatments that can reduce the discomfort associated with flat feet. The most common treatments include wearing supportive and comfortable shoes, investing in orthotics, or wearing inserts or wraps to support your feet.

There are also exercises you can do to ensure you’re walking properly to avoid placing strain on the tendons, ligaments, and joints that make up your leg. With physical therapy and proper gait training you can avoid having your feet turn in, a frequent problem physical therapists see with flat feet.

If you have flat feet and are experiencing foot pain, or pain in your legs, it’s time to seek help before the problem worsens. Schedule an appointment with Contact Physical Therapy today! We’ll help you get off on the right foot.