Only about 30% of the population has a normal foot, the rest of the people either have a foot that over-pronates (flat feet) or over-supinates (high arch) which can eventually cause foot pain and problems.
It is much more common (about 95%) for patients to have a foot that over-pronates. The important thing to know is that all feet pronate and supinate, but abnormal feet do one of these things too much, or at the wrong time.
Flat Feet contribute to over stretching and shortening in your foot and can lead to foot pain such as:
- Heel pain
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Corns, Calluses and Hammertoes
- Shin Splints
- Knee pain
- Hip Pain
- Low Back Pain
What Is A Flat Foot?
When the tendons in your foot all pull the proper amount, then your foot forms a moderate, normal arch. When tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch.
How To Check To See If You Have Flat Feet
- Get your feet wet.
- Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as on a concrete walkway or on a piece of paper.
- Step away and look at the prints. If you see complete imprints of the bottom of your feet, then you’re likely to have flat feet. (#3 is an image of a flat foot)
What Can I Do To Avoid Foot Problems and Foot Pain?
As Ben Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
I guess the easiest example would be that of a car. If you just add oil to the engine when needed, it will still work great in the beginning but you may find you have expensive problems later on. If you change your oil every 3 months, your engine will be running much smoother for a much longer period of time with a lot less problem.
The same can be said with orthotics and flat feet. Your feet will still work if you don’t wear orthotics but later in life there will be a big difference between the person who had flat feet and wore the orthotics and the person who didn’t.
For people who didn’t go with the ounce of prevention here are some treatments the doctor may suggest :
- Rest and ice to relieve pain and swelling
- Stretching exercises
- Pain relief medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
- Physical therapy
- Orthotic devices, shoe modifications, braces, or casts
- Injected medications to reduce inflammation, such as corticosteroids
If you or anyone in your family is having trouble with flat feet give our office at Hollowbrook Foot Specialist a call at (845) 298-9074. Our friendly staff will be glad to make you a convenient appointment with the Dr. Schlam.