SUMMARY: If you think you’ve got flat feet but don’t know for sure, we’ll help you find out. Know why you have flat feet and the symptoms to watch out for!
Flat Feet and Fallen Arches: Do I Have It?
The arch of the foot is the upward curve that you would see if you were to turn an adult’s foot. The arch is made of tendons, tissues that are attached to the heel and bones of the foot. The arches of the foot are formed by several tendons in the lower leg and foot that work together.
When these tendons pull properly, your foot forms a normal arch. When the tendons do not pull properly, there’s little to no arch at all. This is called a fallen arch or flat foot.
How do I know if I have flat feet?
It is easy to test yourself to know if you might have flat feet or fallen arches. First, wet your feet. You should then stand on a flat surface where you can see your footprint, just like on a concrete walkway. Step away and check the footprints. If you notice that the imprints of the bottom of your feet are complete, there’s a big chance that you have flat feet.
A lot of children have flat feet, which is a condition known as flexible flat feet. A child with this condition has feet that appear flat when he or she stands. A slight arch is noticed when the child stands on his or her toes. Generally, a child’s arches develop as he or she grows older.
What are the causes of fallen arches in adults?
Flat feet among adults is typically due to an abnormality that’s already present during birth. It can also be caused by torn or stretched tendons, broken bones, and nerve problems. People with rheumatoid arthritis may also have fallen arches. Furthermore, inflammation or damage to the posterior tibial tendon may lead to fallen arches.Obesity, diabetes, aging, and pregnancy are factors that can increase a person’s chances of having fallen arches.
What are the symptoms of flat feet and fallen arches?
A lot of people who have flat feet do not encounter problems and do not require treatment. However, there are some who have the following symptoms: feet that get tired easily, heel pain, arch pain, leg and back pain, and difficulty moving both feet. In some individuals the inside bottom of their feet swells.
If you have any of these symptoms, please do not ignore them. They are there tell you that it is time to see your doctor.
How is it diagnosed?
You will have to consult your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will examine your feet to know if you have flat feet and what has caused it.
The examination may include a thorough health history to identify injuries or illnesses that might have contributed to flat feet or fallen arches. Your doctor may also look at the soles of your shoes to check for wear patterns.
Part of the physical examination is to observe your legs and feet while you are standing and doing simple movements, like standing on your toes. The strength of your foot and leg muscles and tendons will also be tested. It is also common for doctors to order an X-ray or MRI of your feet.
Fallen arches should not be ignored especially when symptoms begin to appear. Whether you have heel pain, arch pain, or total foot pain, you will have to seek treatment immediately.