Flat Feet

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a condition where the arches of the feet are low or nonexistent. Flat feet can lead to foot pain, instability, and increased risk of developing other foot problems.

Flat Feet
Flat Feet
Anchor Health and Performance Icon
is this treatment right for you?

Your Guide to Understanding Flat Feet

What is Flat Feet?

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, is a condition where the arches of the feet are low or nonexistent. Normally, the arches in the feet provide a spring-like structure that helps distribute body weight evenly and absorb shock when walking or running. However, in individuals with flat feet, the arch collapses or fails to develop properly, causing the entire sole of the foot to touch the ground when standing.

There are two types of flat feet: flexible flat feet and rigid flat feet. Flexible flat feet are more common and occur when the arches flatten when standing but can still be restored when not bearing weight. Rigid flat feet, on the other hand, are less common and occur when the arches remain flattened regardless of weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing positions.

Flat feet can lead to various symptoms and complications. Common symptoms include foot pain, particularly in the arches, heels, or ankles. Individuals with flat feet may also experience fatigue or aching in the feet, especially after prolonged periods of standing or physical activity. Other possible symptoms include swelling along the inside of the ankle, difficulty fitting into shoes, and an altered walking pattern.

Flat feet can affect individuals of all ages, from children to adults. In some cases, flat feet are hereditary, meaning they are passed down through genetics. Other factors that can contribute to the development of flat feet include foot injuries, weakened foot muscles, obesity, aging, and certain medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes.

How can Chiropractic help treat Flat Feet?

Chiropractic services offer a personalized and comprehensive approach to alleviate the challenges posed by flat feet. Chiropractors employ a range of techniques, including manual adjustments, to correct any dysfunctions in the foot and ankle joints.

By addressing these misalignments, chiropractors can help improve arch support and enhance overall foot mechanics. Additionally, they may recommend specific exercises, such as toe curls and arch stretches, to strengthen the muscles and ligaments in the feet. This approach not only provides relief from pain and discomfort but also promotes better posture and improved balance. With chiropractic care, individuals with flat feet can experience increased comfort, mobility, and overall foot health.

What causes Flat Feet?

Flat feet can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is genetics. Some people are born with flat feet or have family members who also have this condition. Other causes can include foot injuries, where the arches of the feet may collapse or weaken due to trauma or repetitive stress. Certain medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissues can also contribute to the development of flat feet.

Another cause is muscle weakness or imbalances. The muscles in the feet and lower legs help support the arches and provide stability. If these muscles are weak or imbalanced, it can lead to the arches collapsing and flat feet. Additionally, obesity or excessive weight can put extra strain on the feet and contribute to the development of flat feet.

The natural aging process can also play a role. As we get older, the tendons and ligaments in our feet may become less flexible and supportive, leading to a flattening of the arches over time. Finally, wearing shoes that do not provide adequate arch support or are too tight can contribute to the development of flat feet.

What treatments might help Flat Feet?

Treatment for flat feet aims to alleviate symptoms and improve foot function. Here are some common approaches that can help improve flat feet:

  • Supportive footwear: Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can provide stability and relieve discomfort associated with flat feet. Look for shoes specifically designed for people with flat feet or consider using orthotic inserts.
  • Physical therapy exercises: A physical therapist can guide you through exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet. These exercises can help improve foot arch strength, stability, and overall biomechanics.
  • Stretching and flexibility exercises: Performing stretches that target the calf muscles, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia can help improve flexibility and reduce strain on the arches of the feet.
  • Orthotic devices: Orthotic devices, such as arch supports or custom-made shoe inserts, can provide additional support and help distribute weight more evenly across the feet. They can be worn inside your shoes to improve foot alignment and reduce symptoms.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with flat feet. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication.
  • Rest and ice: Resting the feet and applying ice to the affected area can help reduce swelling and provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

Signs of Flat Feet:

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, can be identified through several signs and symptoms. Here are some common indicators that you may have flat feet:

  • Pain or discomfort: Flat feet can cause pain or discomfort in the feet, particularly in the arch area or along the inner side of the foot. The pain may worsen with prolonged standing, walking, or engaging in physical activities.
  • Fatigue or achiness: Individuals with flat feet often experience tiredness or achiness in the feet, especially after standing or walking for extended periods.
  • Difficulty fitting into shoes: People with flat feet may find it challenging to wear certain types of shoes due to their lack of arch support. Shoes may feel tight around the arch area or cause discomfort.
  • Foot swelling: Flat feet can contribute to swelling in the feet, particularly around the ankle area, as it affects the stability and support of the foot.
  • Overpronation: Overpronation refers to the inward rolling of the foot while walking or running. This is a common characteristic of flat feet and can lead to imbalances and strain on the lower limbs.
  • Lower leg and knee pain: Flat feet can affect the alignment of the lower limbs, potentially leading to pain or discomfort in the lower legs, knees, hips, or lower back.

Symptoms of Flat Feet:

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, can cause various symptoms that may include:

  • Foot pain: People with flat feet often experience pain or discomfort in the arch area, heel, or along the inner side of the foot. The pain may be dull or sharp and can worsen with activities like standing, walking, or running.
  • Fatigue or aching feet: Flat feet can make your feet feel tired or achy, especially after prolonged periods of standing or physical activity. This fatigue can affect your overall comfort and mobility.
  • Swelling: Some individuals with flat feet may experience swelling in the feet, particularly around the ankle area. This can be a result of the altered foot mechanics and reduced support provided by the arches.
  • Overpronation: Overpronation is a common characteristic of flat feet. It refers to the inward rolling of the foot while walking or running. Over time, this can lead to imbalances in the lower limbs and potentially cause pain or discomfort in the ankles, knees, hips, or lower back.
  • Difficulty fitting into shoes: Flat feet can make it challenging to find properly fitting shoes. You may have trouble finding shoes that offer adequate arch support or have enough room in the midfoot area. Shoes may feel tight or uncomfortable, particularly around the arch region.
  • Lower limb problems: Flat feet can contribute to other issues in the lower limbs, including shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and general instability. These conditions may cause additional pain, discomfort, or difficulty with activities.
Chiropractic
Chiropractic
Chiropractic
Chiropractic
Anchor Health and Performance Icon
is this treatment right for you?

When is the right time to see a Chiropractor for Flat Feet?

It is recommended to see a chiropractor clinic for flat feet when you are experiencing symptoms such as pain, discomfort, or difficulty with activities related to your feet or ankles. If you notice that your flat feet are causing you ongoing discomfort, affecting your ability to walk, stand, or engage in physical activities, it may be a good time to seek professional help.

Additionally, if you have tried self-care measures such as wearing supportive shoes, using arch supports or orthotic inserts, and performing exercises without experiencing significant improvement, it would be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can assess your condition, identify any underlying issues contributing to your flat feet, and provide personalized treatment options to address your symptoms and improve foot function.

Meet our Lead Chiropractor

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Dr. Brett Herlehy

Chiropractor

Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College

Dr. Brett enjoys working with active individuals looking to reach the next level and also anyone who is trying to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives.

Anchor Health and Performance Icon

The Anchor Difference

PATIENT-DRIVEN CARE

ONE-ON-ONE TREATMENTS

EVIDENCE-INFORMED PLANS

are you ready to move and feel better?

book your appointment today

Let's address your Flat Feet concerns together!

Physiotherapist Brittany Pereira working with client at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic Mississauga
Interior Lobby at Anchor Health and Performance Clinic in Mississauga