Estimates vary, but there is a sizeable part of the general population who have feet with low or no arches. Those individuals who have flat feet may develop issues from the structural abnormality, particularly when it comes to the effect low arches have on pronation patterns. When issues are present, Advanced Foot and Ankle can provide the care you need!
As we look at the possible treatment options for flat foot, it is best to start out by noting that feet with low arches may not require care if there are no painful symptoms. In cases like these, it is wise to monitor the condition, especially when beginning new activities and exercises or ramping up the intensity of existing ones. If issues arise, we can take another look.
You may be relieved to find that when your feet do need treatment, conservative care is often quite successful and surgery is only needed in rare cases. Some of the nonsurgical treatment options we may prescribe or recommend include:
- Orthotic devices or arch supports. Depending on the severity of the condition and your symptoms, it is possible that over-the-counter arch supports may provide relief, but we may also recommend custom orthotic devices that work better with your unique feet.
- Supportive shoes. If your choice in footwear is leading to issues, we will likely recommend switching it out for models that are structured to provide greater arch support and restrict excessive motion. This can be particularly beneficial for runners.
- Stretching exercises. It is common that individuals who have flat feet also have shortened Achilles tendons, which are greater risk of developing tendonitis. This can also lead to heel pain if the Achilles pulls on the calcaneus (heel bone). Stretches can help keep the tendon limber and reduce injury risk.
There are instances where flat foot issues are not resolved through conservative methods, but these tend to be rare. If this is the case, though, you can take comfort knowing that our office has experienced, skilled professionals ready to help you.
If your flat feet are causing issues, come visit Advanced Foot and Ankle and we can see which treatment options may work best for you. Call us at (208) 731-6321 to reach our Twin Falls office or (208) 312-4646 for our Burley, ID office for more information.