Ana Theresa Williams BSN RN
You have flatfeet when the arch on the inside of your feet is flattened, allowing the entire sole of your foot to touch the floor when you stand up.
A common and usually painless condition, flatfeet may occur when the arches don’t develop during childhood. In other cases, flatfeet may develop after an injury or from the simple wear-and-tear stresses of age.
Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter optimal alignment of your legs. If you aren’t experiencing any pain, no treatment is usually necessary for flatfeet.
Most people have no signs or symptoms associated with flatfeet. But some people with flatfeet experience foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area. Swelling along the inside of the ankle may also occur.
Start talking to your doctor if you or your child is experiencing foot pain.
A flat foot is normal in infants and toddlers, because the foot’s arch hasn’t yet developed. Most people’s arches develop throughout childhood, but some people never develop arches.
This is a normal variation in foot type, and people without arches may or may not have problems.
Arches can also fall over time. Years of wear and tear can weaken the tendon that runs along the inside of your ankle and helps support your arch.
Factors that can increase your risk of flatfeet in-clude obe-sity, trau-matic injury to your foot or ankle, rheumatoid arthritis, and aging.
If you’re experiencing minor pain from flatfeet, you might want to try the following tips:
Avoid activities that aggravate your condition. Participate in low-impact activities — such as walking, biking or swimming — rather than jumping and running activities.
A trial of over-the-counter arch supports is reasonable to consider.
Over-the-counter pain relievers may help.
Losing weight can reduce the amount of stress on your feet.
HEALTHWATCHING: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12