Flat foot pain affects adults of all ages. When you have flat feet, the soles of your feet are able to touch the ground completely, because the arches which are on the side of your feet are flattened.
The degree of flattening varies from one person with flat feet to another. Some people have really flat feet. And they are more likely to experience flat foot soreness and pain than people who have a slight arch to their feet.
Although children may have flat feet, they are less likely to be affected by pain than adults, since the arches usually develop in childhood.
Flat foot inflammation and pain occur when the flatness of your feet leads to overpronation.
With overpronation, your ankle will roll too far down as you walk. This will eventually lead to pain, especially if you are constantly on your feet throughout the day.
About 26% of people have flat feet. While this is a fairly large number, it does not mean that all of these people are affected by discomfort.
Many people have flat feet and do not feel any pain because of it. However, severe flat feet can affect your quality of life, cause slight disability, and lead to loss of some functions.
If you notice pain in your feet, you can speak to your doctor about orthotics that can be used to alleviate the inflammation.
Do Flat Feet Need to Be Treated?
Flat feet are regarded as a normal variation in the type of feet that humans are designed with and most people with flat feet will not experience any negative effects. If you start to experience pain, you can have that treated so that you can be more comfortable.
People with severe flat feet who do not seek treatment can find it difficult to be at their best in professions that require a lot of walking or standing.
For example, doctors, nurses, and teachers who have to stand for long hours may experience pain due to flat feet and be hampered in other ways.
What are the Symptoms of Flat Foot Pain?
Flat foot inflammation and pain is usually experienced in both your ankles and feet. Flat feet can change the alignment of your legs. As a result, you may also experience constant pain in your knees. Discomfort may be felt in your arches and your heels.
You may notice that this pain increases with activity. You may start your mornings with a slight ache in your heels, which worsens as you play sports during the day.
Do not ignore the pain of this nature or think that nothing can be done about it. You can get special shoes that allow you to enjoy your regular activities without pain.
This condition can be treated by using orthotics, such as slippers or shoes developed to support people who have flat feet.
Some people with this type of pain may also notice that the area on the inside of their ankles swells. Men and women with adult acquired flat foot can also have aching while they are standing.
Adult Acquired Flat Foot Pain
Adult acquired flat foot pain is usually experienced by men and women who did not have any pain when they were younger.
In this situation, the arch of your feet may have had a regular curve before but it falls or collapses for some reason. In this case, you have acquired flat feet because the arch has changed shape.
If your feet had a regular longitudinal arch at one time but that changed, your doctor will tell you that you have acquired flat feet.
Like regular flat feet, the aim is to manage symptoms instead of looking for a cure. You will often be able to wear special shoes and slippers that prevent the pain.
Women over 40 tend to be affected by acquired flat foot pain more often than men of the same age. Pregnant women are more likely to develop this type of pain than any other adult.
If you have an uncontrolled medical condition such as diabetes or hypertension, that can also lead to acquired flat foot pain.
It is important to ensure that you manage any chronic conditions well in order to avoid this and other conditions.
Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Foot Pain
Plantar fasciitis affects the thick tissue that is located on the bottom of your foot. This tissue, which is called the plantar fascia, forms the arch of your foot and when that tissue becomes inflamed, it is referred to as plantar fasciitis.
In plantar fasciitis, the plantar fascia becomes swollen and inflamed because the tissue has been overstretched or overused.
When the tissue is inflamed, it can make it difficult or painful for you to walk or stand. People who have flat feet will sometimes develop plantar fasciitis.
If you have plantar fasciitis, it does not mean that you also have flat feet. Plantar fasciitis can also develop if someone walks up and down a hill.
It can also occur when someone gains a lot of weight quickly or they wear shoes that do not have good arch support. However, having flat feet will put you at risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
If you have aching in the form of plantar fasciitis, you can use orthotic devices to help. These will provide your feet with the support they need to stop the plantar fascia from being overstretched as you walk. This means that you will avoid inflammation and pain in that area.
Can Flat Foot Pain Arise Due To Age?
Some people may find that they develop aching as they become older. This is because of damage to their feet in most cases.
For example, someone who injured their feet can develop flat foot pain because of the injury, even if they never had any type of pain in their feet before the injury.
Even if your feet have not experienced a major injury, they undergo numerous stresses over the years.
If you are constantly on your feet every day and put them through a lot of wear and tear, you can develop flat foot pain as a result of that.
Orthotics can be used to help treat aching in this case, so talk to your doctor about your discomfort.
How is Flat Foot Diagnosed?
When you visit your doctor complaining of pain in your feet, they will examine you. To check whether you have flat feet, they will look for signs such as medial rotation, plantar flexion, and a collapsed medial arch.
The radiological analysis may be used along with a clinical diagnosis. Your doctor may also do a footprint analysis.
With many people who have severely flat feet, others can sometimes detect it by looking at the feet. People with flat feet do not usually have much of an arch in their feet.
If everyone in your family has flat feet, you may not even notice it as a child, until you grow older and start paying attention to arches on other people’s feet outside of your family.
How is This Foot Pain Treated in Children?
If your child is having flat foot pain, there are several simple ways to treat it. None of these are permanent and your child may eventually grow out of it.
Children often develop arches in their feet as they grow older. Any pain that they experience now due to flat feet may disappear as their feet develop.
Despite that, if your child complains of pain in their feet, you should seek treatment. Do not simply ignore it and think that it may go away in a little while.
Any constant pain in your child’s feet will affect their quality of life. Flat foot pain can also impact a child’s ability to learn since they will be distracted by the pain.
Flat foot pain in children may also affect their social interactions. Children tend to be quite active and interact with other children through play.
They need to be able to explore their world. If a child is fearful of running around because of pain in their feet, they may become withdrawn or less physically active.
Exercise can be used to develop the arches in your child’s feet. These exercises should be done regularly in order to experience maximum benefits.
As your child does the exercises with the recommended frequency, the arches in their feet will become more visibly curved.
Using insoles and appropriate footwear is also important. These help to support your child’s feet. If your child uses insoles and footwear developed specifically for flat feet, they will not experience pain due to flat feet.
There are also rare cases in which a doctor may suggest surgery to help with flat foot pain in children but this is not a typical method of treatment.
How is Flat Foot Pain Treated in Adults?
Although adults are less likely to have surgery recommended to them as a treatment option for flat foot pain than children, they still have a wide array of treatments available.
In adults with flat foot pain, insoles can also be used to help bring relief. Adults can also wear special shoes and slippers. That gives the support necessary for the feet to do their job under any condition.
Bracing and supports can help adults. Physical therapy and exercises that strengthen the feet and help them to develop their arches will also help.
Adults who are overweight will find that losing weight alleviates the pressure on their feet, resulting in less flat foot pain.
Some adults may choose to modify their activities slightly in order to experience less flat foot pain.
For example, if they work at a job where they do a lot of standing or walking, they may choose to adjust their schedule so that they are able to work while seated for 15 minutes out of every hour.
This allows them to give their feet a break and alleviate pressure o the bones in their ankle and the tissue in the plantar fascia.
Medication and rest will also help. also, talk to your physiotherapist or doctor about how massage can help.
If you are having constant pain, it may be worth your while to consider adjusting the level of pain experienced by combining all of the methods described here.
If necessary, you may also want to talk with your doctor about surgery. As with children, surgery for flat foot pain is the last resort that is only used in extreme situations.
Treatment with Orthotics
Orthotics are devices that are used to provide support to your feet. They fall into three main categories. You can use soft, semi-rigid, or rigid orthotics to help with flat foot pain.
Rigid orthotics control motion in two important foot joints. These rigid devices are difficult to break. And last a long time since they are made using carbon fiber or plastic.
Semi-rigid orthotics are designed to help with dynamic balance, so they offer a bit of flexibility.
Their design varies according to the type of sport that a person plays or the type of activities that they participate in regularly.
Each of these devices contains both rigid and soft elements. Which together, provide the support that an individual requires with their balance.
Soft orthotics are designed to absorb shock and improve balance. They immediately take the pressure off any painful areas on your feet.
Some of these must be used with prescription footwear while others must be worn with shoes that have a little extra room for them. They are worn against your sole and extend from your heel to your toes.
You do not have to suffer from flat foot pain. Talk to your doctor about the various methods of treatment that are available.
Some, such as special shoes and slippers for plantar fasciitis, will start working immediately to give you relief from pain. A new pair of shoes that helps to alleviate this type of pain could give you a brand new life.