Flat feet are a very common condition that affects the structure of the foot. In infants and toddlers, flat feet are normal as the longitudinal arch has not yet developed. As children begin to stand on their toes, the arch of the foot starts to develop and continues to do so throughout childhood. By adulthood, most people have developed normal arches, although there are still many individuals who have flat feet.
Flat feet are often associated with pronation, which is a leaning inward of the ankle bones towards the center line of the body. This can cause shoes of individuals who pronate, when placed side by side, to lean towards each other, after they have been worn long enough for the foot position to remodel their shape.
Most people with flat feet do not experience pain or other problems. However, if pain in the foot, ankle, or lower leg does occur, especially in children, the feet should be evaluated by a qualified medical professional. Painful progressive flatfoot, also known as tibialis posterior tendonitis or adult-acquired flatfoot, is a condition that refers to inflammation of the tendon of the tibialis posterior. This can occur when the tendon becomes inflamed, stretched, or torn.
People who have flat feet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot are predisposed to developing tibialis posterior tendonitis. If left untreated, this condition may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. Fortunately, there are several treatments that can be effective for dealing with painful progressive flatfoot.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, icing, physical therapy, supportive taping, bracing, and orthotics are all effective treatments for this condition. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medications. In some cases, a surgical procedure may need to be performed to repair a damaged or torn tendon and restore normal function.
In the most severe cases, surgery on the midfoot bones may be necessary to treat the associated flatfoot condition. This should be a last resort and should only be considered when all other treatments have failed to provide relief. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort in your feet, it is important to speak to your healthcare provider to get an accurate diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
In conclusion, flat feet are a common condition that affects many individuals. Although most people do not experience any pain or discomfort, those who do may benefit from seeking medical attention. If you are experiencing any issues with your feet, get in touch with Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM who will be able to help you determine the best course of action to deal with it. Remember, proper diagnosis and treatment are the keys to maintaining healthy and pain-free feet.