Flat feet are the result of an inexistent or collapsed plantar arch. They can also result from a congenital bone deformation. Excessive foot pronation or hyperpronation or inward-facing foot are other ways of referring to flat feet. Flat feet can be considered normal in very young children. For older children, however, flat feet are associated to multiple serious problems. Hyperpronation is the first link of a mechanical chain causing internal torsion in legs and knees, and lumbar lordosis. Flat feet also affect general posture.
The causes of flat feet include heredity, certain congenital diseases, obesity, pregnancy, certain trauma, lower limb length discrepancy, multiple inflammatory or degenerative diseases, aging, and physical activity.
Flat feet are associated to several other foot conditions that cause discomfort, irritations, or pain. These include bunions, callus, plantar fasciitis, ankle problems, tendinitis, and sprains.
Since it has an important effect on posture, flat feet are a common cause of knee, hip, and back pain.
Flat feet often cause important muscular fatigue. Certain authors assert that hyperpronation of the foot is the main cause for growing pains.
If there are no symptoms, this anomaly requires no treatment. However, if the patient is suffering from symptoms, the podiatrist may recommend a variety of treatments, and even surgery. In the majority of cases, wearing orthoses proves to be effective.
Clinique podiatrique de l’Estrie podiatrists are able to recommend the treatment that best suits the needs of patients suffering from flat feet.