Flatfoot is defined when the arches of your feet are flattened and do not have a usual arch. This deformity causes the entire sole of your foot to touch the floor when you stand up. This issue is typically symmetrical in both feet, but can occur in only one foot in some adults. Most children have flatfeet until the age of 4, which is normal; a normal arch usually will start to develop after this age. So you should not be alarmed if your child’s foot is flat in a normal standing position. If your child has an in-toe or out toe, you should seek evaluation. If your child continue to have flatfeet after 4-5 years old, they most likely have inherited flat feet.
Flatfeet develop after an injury or from the simple wear-and-tear stresses of age. Having an injury, being very overweight, or having a condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes also can cause the arch to flatten.
Flatfoot usually is not a serious problem and can be painless in many patients. But some people do have pain if they gain weight or stand a lot. You or your child can have pain when walking or running. You or your child can do exercises and wear pads and roomy shoes to help support their feet.
Having flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in your ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of your legs. When your feet are flat, the position of the joints of your foot and ankle become poorly aligned. Poorly aligned joints can lead to spurring, arthritis, muscle aches, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and generalized pain.
Watch closely for changes in your feet, and be sure to make an appointment if:
You have pain in the feet or legs
Your flatfoot appears to become worse
You want help to find orthotics that are right for you.
Orthotics encourage a heathy positional alignment of the joints of your foot and ankle. They may help prevent pain and abnormal stress on your joints, tendons, and muscles.