What is “Flat Feet”? Does it need to be treated?
“Flat feet” is commonly used to describe a person’s feet having lowered or collapsed arches when standing or walking. They are a common variant of feet anatomy, and they may not necessary lead to symptoms. However, if they are causing pains or aches, it is advisable to see a podiatrist for a thorough lower limb biomechanical assessment.
What causes pains or aches in people with flat feet?
There are various factors that can lead to pains or aches in your feet, ankles, legs, knees or even the lower back. They include:
- Mis-alignment of the lower limbs (knees, ankles and feet)
- Gait abnormalities (arches excessively lowered, or feet out-toeing too much)
- Muscles overuse or strain
- Tight muscles
- Presence of foot deformities such as bunions or clawed toes
- Injury to the foot, such as ankle sprains or trauma/impact injury from sports
- Weak or injured tendons or ligaments around the ankle
- Sudden increase in activity level
- Prolonged wearing of ill-fitting, unsupportive or worn out shoes
- Weight gain
How can a Podiatrist help?
A podiatrist can perform a biomechanical assessment of the lower limbs and feet to determine the cause of the symptoms. He or she will then recommend the appropriate treatment plan, which will include a combination of the following:
- Footwear advice and recommendation
- Prescription of functional foot orthoses (insoles)
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Sports taping
- Manual therapy
- Shockwave therapy
How do insoles help?
Functional foot orthoses, or insoles for flat feet, help to provide arch support and aim to correct any mis-alignment of the lower limbs. When prescribed appropriately by a skilled podiatrist, the insoles can distribute feet pressures evenly, reduce muscles strain and relieve any existing pains or aches.
There are a range of pre-fabricated insoles as well as customised insoles in our clinics. A podiatrist will carefully assess your feet structure and prescribe the appropriate insoles based on your foot type, weight, physical activities and choice of footwear. With enhanced technology these days, insoles can be customised to fit into dress shoes. Therefore, it does not mean that insoles can only fit into sports shoes or “granny” shoes!
Our podiatrists at Physio & Sole Clinic will be able to help you with any issues related to flat feet. Visit any of our six locations or email/Whatsapp us today for further enquiries!