The flat foot is a foot that has a plantar vault with less height than normal. It is normally accompanied by an increase in the width of the midfoot area, due to the fall of the arch to the internal area.
We have to comment that although they cause pain, well treated they allow us to lead a normal life. Of course, it is necessary to go to a specialist to know what type of flat foot it is and what is the best treatment.
Do you have flat feet or do you think you can have them?
Below, we review what they are, causes and consequences, symptoms, repercussions, treatments and other questions that you should know about this foot condition.
Here at Happy Feet Pedorthics we can help you find the best option for you, we’ll assist you in the selection of shoes for your daily routine. Measuring your feet is the first step in order to make your new shoes fit accurately, then we will recommend the most comfortable design for you.
What are flat feet?
A flat foot is a descent of the plantar vault and occurs when there is less arch than usual, that is, the axis of the foot falls inward, towards the big toe. These characteristics make it a ‘diesel’ foot, as we sometimes call it, because they can take more kilometers but are not excessively fast.
In addition to the aspect that a flat foot has, in which it can be seen that there is less arch than normal, there are other symptoms that may be indicating that we suffer from this condition:
-Pain in the muscles of the inner leg: when working very hard, because the foot falls inward, tendinitis occurs and pain appears.
-Pain in the back when the foot sinks: the bones in the dorsal area above are pinched and arthrosic spikes occur.
As a curiosity, it should be noted that we are born with flat feet, but it is normal for it to be a flexible flat foot and that, with time and growth of the child, it is corrected.
However, it may also be the case that an adult, with a normal foot, develops a flat foot due to posterior tibial dysfunction. This means that the muscle that supports the arch stops working, causing the foot to fall deeper and deeper.
To diagnose this pathology correctly, there are fingerprint analysis systems with a pressure platform, in this way we see in the computer what the fingerprint is like and with that we can determine the diagnosis.
But the most important thing on a flat foot is your last name. It can be flexible, semi flexible or rigid. To find out which one it is, different biomechanical tests are carried out:
- Jack test: consists of raising the patient’s big toe. The arc has to be formed and if not, it is positive.
- Heel Rise Test: when standing on tiptoe, an arch must be formed and the heel must go out. If it is not formed, it is positive.
In the event that both tests are negative, it is a flexible flat foot, which means that it has a good prognosis and, in principle, this child with a flat foot in adulthood will not. There is a high probability that the problem will be solved.
If both tests are positive, it is a rigid foot, a structural flat foot in which the bones are flat, and it is necessary to operate.
Rigid flat feet can be due to two causes: the first is that the talus, instead of being horizontal, is vertical; and the second option is that we find a tarsal coalition, that is, “factory”, two foot bones have come out together and do not take the shape of the bridge.
Finally, if there is a positive test and a negative one, it is a semi-flexible foot that with good treatment can be corrected without the need for surgery.
In the diagnosis, there are other tests such as maximum pronation or resistance to supination, although in principle these could be classified.
In children, the most important thing is to make a good diagnosis because it can be a foot that can be corrected with empowerment exercises. But from the age of 4, you may have to make custom insoles to change the axes of alignment of the foot and those muscles begin to work differently. In other cases, the operation will also have to be evaluated.
In adults, the most important thing is to make a good custom insole that will minimise the consequences of a flat foot.
Treatments should always be associated with both stretching and empowerment exercises. The possible operation would be another treatment, always starting from a good biomechanical study of the footprint and evaluating all the possibilities. Incorporating technology into podiatry also helps.
In children, that is, when it is ‘factory’, its appearance in both sexes is fairly equal.
In adulthood, more women have their feet flattened, especially after pregnancy or menopause, as the ligaments are more relaxed and it is more likely to become a flat foot.
Impact on health
The feet are the foundation and the entire structure will be affected. A clear repercussion is tiredness, because it carries a load of energy wear much higher than a normal foot, costing a lot of effort to walk, and more when one is already tired since the sensation is that one walks dragging the feet.
There may also be heaviness in the legs, both due to problems with return of circulation and due to muscular tension in the calf, calf, inner leg.
Another very important aspect is that, when the foot falls inward, it removes the knee from its axis of work. A foot has 26 bones and although it is flat it has more or less adaptability, a knee is a hinge, and if it does not go straight it will rub, and if it rubs it wears out. What happens is that the knee is turned inward and it is very easy to associate a flat foot with a genu (knee) valgus, the x-knees that go inward.
Finally, on the back we can also notice the consequences of a flat foot, since the attitude is always much more kyphotic because it tends to go more forward.
Here at Happy Feet Pedorthics we can help you find the best option for you, we’ll assist you in the selection of shoes for your daily routine. Measuring your feet is the first step in order to make your new shoes fit accurately.