If you have pain or discomfort in your feet or ankle joints, you might have flat feet.
The arch, or instep, is the middle part of the foot that’s usually raised off the ground when you stand, while the rest of the foot remains flat on the ground. If you have flat feet, however, a fallen arch causes your foot to roll inwards and your entire sole comes close to touching the ground.
A flat foot, also known as pes planus, is normal in infants and toddlers, because the foot’s arch hasn’t yet developed. These arches typically develop throughout childhood, but some people never develop arches, which can lead to flat foot disorder.
Arches can also fall over time due to overall wear and tear that weakens the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and helps support your arch.
With a fallen arch, your tendons and ligaments weaken and cause intense pain throughout your feet, ankles, and lower leg muscles, especially in the region of your arch and heel.
“If you are suffering from flat feet, it means that you have a biomechanical fault in the mid-tarsal region,” said Dr. Ian S. Goldbaum of Delray Beach Podiatry. “When this happens, the arch is not actually present and, upon ambulation, the arch will flatten out. This creates a lot of soft tissue problems and joint problems later on in life.”
Flat feet can also contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of your legs. If you aren’t having pain, no treatment is usually necessary for flatfeet. Additionally, if left untreated, the condition can also lead to weakened posture and discomfort through your hips and lower back.