Flat feet, also known as Pes Planus, are a foot condition for those with little or no foot arch when standing upright.
Typically, a human foot consists of 33 joints that hold 26 different bones in place. It also has muscles, tendons, and ligaments to support the bones and the joints.
The foot arches serve as a spring when a person steps and, at the same time, help distribute the person’s body weight across the feet and the legs. The structure of the foot arch determines how the person walks. These arches must be flexible and sturdy enough to ensure the feet can adapt to stress and various surfaces when walking or running.
People with flat feet tend to have more difficulty distributing their weight as their feet may roll to the inner side when standing upright or walking. This condition is known as over pronation and may cause the feet to point outward.
Babies up to six years of age normally have flat feet. As their body develops, so do their foot arches begin to form. While most people develop arches, there are a few people who never develop their foot arches. There are also some cases where the arch falls, leading to acquired flat feet. Some of these conditions include:
Flat feet affect the overall health. This condition leads to the inability of the feet to properly support the body posture, causing a significant impact on many parts of the body.
Flat feet affect the balance resulting in the compensation of other body parts to maintain an upright position. This, in turn, results in elevated and rounded shoulders with the head pushed forward. The hips are also noticeably titled forward with increased curvature of the spine and inward tilting of the knees.
Because flat feet affect the body's weight distribution, this causes tension to muscles and ligaments within the legs, the back, and the neck area. This tension results in pain and discomfort around the back, legs, and neck.
Because of the disproportionate weight distribution in the feet, the toes try to compensate for the weight resulting in pain and tenderness when walking or standing for long periods.
People with flat feet struggle with balance compared to those with normal arches. Most of those who suffer from flat feet easily trip over or fall when walking or running.
Due to changes in the biomechanics from the flat feet, the knees and hips commonly can experience pain over time. In fact, the added stress on these areas can contribute to increasing arthritic change.
Flat feet are a complex problem that is not resolved with surgery. Healthcare practitioners offer relief by providing options for the patient to support proper weight distribution in the feet. This is with the help of foot orthotics.
Foot Orthotics are shoe inserts worn to promote proper foot alignment and posture. Some, lower quality orthotics are off-the-shelf cushions that can be used to provide some stress relief in the foot. However, custom orthotics that are developed after thorough examination and measurements in the feet are available through some healthcare providers.
Belden Village Chiropractic and Wellness Center creates custom-fitted foot orthotics to accommodate the individual requirement of each patient’s flat foot condition. This is done through the help of a 3D laser evaluation of the feet that help provide a more accurate detail of the foot’s problems. This aids in a better understanding of the unique needs of every patient and creating custom-fit orthotics to meet these needs. If you are suffering from flat feet or know someone who needs help, visit us at Belden Village Chiropractic and Wellness Center or schedule an appointment with us.