What Are Flat Feet?
If you have pain or discomfort in your feet or ankle joints, you might have flat feet. Keep reading to find out the difference between a normal foot and a flat foot.
A normal arch creates an upward curve in the middle of your foot. Tendons and ligaments in your foot and lower leg help form the arch and stabilize it. Because your feet help support your entire body, having strong arches is important to your body’s health. When those tendons and ligaments weaken, your arch collapses.
Flat feet, also known as acquired flat foot disorder, result from your collapsed arch. When standing, the sole of your foot should not touch the ground completely. However, a fallen arch causes your foot to roll inwards and your entire sole comes close to touching the ground. Because your feet are the foundation for your body, flat feet can cause problems throughout your skeletal structure and can even bring your joints out of alignment.
With a fallen arch, your tendons and ligaments weaken and cause intense pain throughout your feet, ankles, and lower leg muscles, especially in the region of your arch and heel. Flat feet can also cause a weakened posture and discomfort through your hips and lower back.
What causes Flat Feet?
Although usually uncommon, flat feet can develop as an abnormality in childhood where your foot’s arch never forms. This abnormality can also be present at birth and is often hereditary.
Flat feet usually develops as an adult because of excessive foot stress. FAILING TO TREAT A FOOT INJURY (SUCH AS AN ANKLE SPRAIN) WITHOUT PROPER HEALING TIME AND ARCH SUPPORT CAN LEAD TO FLAT FEET. SOME EXAMPLES OF EXCESSIVE FOOT STRESS INCLUDE:
- Weakened muscles in the foot, ankles, and lower leg from aging or weight gain.
- Standing or walking for longer periods of time, especially in heels or dress shoes.
- Wearing uncomfortable shoes without proper arch support.
- Foot injuries, such as ankle sprains or broken bones in your feet.