While flat feet may sound like a silly name for a medical condition, individuals who have this issue can experience an assortment of uncomfortable side effects. This disorder is not as serious as many of the others that individuals face, but it is still worthy of attention, as it is easily treatable and, as a result, no one should have to suffer through the effects of this malady.
What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet is, just as it sounds, a condition that impacts the flatness of an individual’s feet. People who have flat feet lack a normal arch in their foot. This condition can affect one foot or both feet. As moms who have spent many an hour inspecting the impossibly tiny feet of their newborns know, babies are not born with arches. These arches develop during toddlerhood and are generally in place by the time the child reaches 3 years of age, reports Family Doctor. Some children suffer from flat feet because these arches never develop. Adults can begin to suffer from flat feet later in life if their arches fall.
Causes of Flat Feet
In children, flat feet develop as a result of loose joints within the foot. When these joints are overly loose, the foot does not arch properly, and the child remains flat. In adults, this condition can develop as the result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon, reports MayoClinic.com. This tendon runs along the inside of the ankle and is the tendon responsible for creating an arch in your foot.
Increased Risk of Flat Feet
While anyone is subject to the development of flat feet, some factors may increase your risk of developing this condition. Obesity may put you at larger risk for developing flat feet, as the tendon responsible for creating and maintaining your foot arch is placed under greater pressure. Injury to the foot or ankle, as well as the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, can both put you at greater risk for developing flat feet during adulthood.
Some individuals with flat feet go years without feeling any impact from the condition, while others feel the impact of this disorder quite keenly. Having flat feet can lead to pain in the ankles or knees, as this lack of arch places these joints under greater pressure and upsets the alignment of the leg. Having flat feet can also affect your gait as well the ease with which you walk, reports MayoClinic.com
Just because you or your child has flat feet does not mean you need medical treatment. If you are not experiencing pain as a result of your flat feet, you do not need to seek medical attention, states MayoClinic.com. If you do experience pain, seeing a doctor may be in order. Mention your foot-related concerns to your general physician, who will likely refer you to a doctor specializing in food disorders. This doctor may prescribe insoles or special shoes or, in extreme cases, offer a surgical option.