Flat Feet

Prevention and Treatment of Flat Feet

There is little in the way of preventive remedies for those who inherit the condition. If there are no complications or pain from flat feet, simply protecting them with well designed footwear is helpful. If pain is present or complications arise, orthotics or arch supports may be effective.

To minimize pain or complications, wear properly designed shoes or boots that have toe boxes that are sufficiently wide and high to allow the toes to spread, reducing pressure in the forefoot. Solid heel counters in the rear of the shoe or boot help protect the heel, posterior tibial, and Achilles tendon areas and provide support for the entire foot. Well designed outer soles help prevent the inward “rolling” that is characteristic of flat feet and overpronation. Avoid high heels, which can stress the forefoot.

Flat feet may contribute to or worsen other foot problems, including inflammation and pain in the heel area (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendinitis, posterior tibial tendinitis, shin splints, bunions, and hammer toes. Because flat feet affect skeletal alignment, they may also contribute to pain in the ankles, knees and hips. Talk to your doctor about appropriate treatment for these conditions.

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