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Figuring out flat feet

26 Mar 2015 11:14 AM -
How do I know if I have flat feet and why are they a problem?
Do you suffer from ankle, shin, knee, hip or back pain? The cause of your pain could be flat feet! If you have a normal arch you'll see an upward curve in the middle of your foot, however when you have a low or collapsed arch your foot rolls into a flat position and the joints in your knee, hips and back function awkwardly, resulting in stress, strain and sometimes injury to these structures. If you have flat feet you may notice the following conditions: 

- Pain in the arch of your foot
- Problems in the ankle such as tendonitis
- Shin conditions like shin splints and stress fractures
- Knee problems
- Lower back and pelvis problems 

The good news is that these conditions can generally be relieved with a combination of treatments like orthotics, the correct footwear, gait training and exercises, all of which will help you get back to your active life. 

What causes flat feet?
Flat feet are mostly hereditary although they can be caused by excessive stress on the foot. Standing or walking for a long time in high heeled shoes, wearing poorly fitted uncomfortable shoes with no arch support, weight gain and age (causing weakened muscles) and foot injuries are all examples of 'foot stress'. Failing to treat a foot injury, like an ankle sprain without proper healing time and arch support is another possible cause of flat feet.

What can I do to help my flat feet? 
Flat feet don't tend to just 'go away', and without treatment your fallen arches will begin (if they're not already) to put strain on your ankles and knees. Over time this can lead to serious problems in your body's alignment. Your best bet is to see one of our skilled podiatrists who treat this kind of condition every day.  All of our podiatrists at Active Foot Clinic have expertise in assessing and treating foot and lower limb posture and your gait (walking pattern).

Whilst you're waiting to see us you can help relieve the pain you're feeling by wearing comfortable, supportive shoes and continuing to wear your orthotics if you have them. At your appointment our podiatrist will take a look at your posture and walking pattern and advise you on the most appropriate treatment to help keep you active for life! 

The sooner you see us the sooner you can be be pain free! Making an appointment is simple, you don't need a referral and we can sort out a health fund rebate on the spot, just call us today on 02 6925 8637 or book an appointment online. If you're not sure if you need a full appointment, you could always come in for a free foot check, find out more here.