Absorbing the weight of your body with each step, your feet usually make easy work of these tremendous forces. The arch of the foot and a tough band of tissue called the plantar fascia form a shock-absorbing bow that spreads out the load in a normal foot.
However, the height of the foot arch varies greatly between people. We all start out with no arch at birth. Usually, arches form by the age of 6, but not every child develops them. Later in life, aging and injury cause arches to collapse.
While developing flatfoot isn’t always a problem, it can sometimes lead to pain, cramping, muscle aches, and gait problems that can transfer mechanical issues to other joints like the knees and hips. As flat feet specialists, the team at Hudson Valley Foot Associates can help you manage the condition when issues and complications arise.
Flat feet don’t always cause problems or pain, and when symptoms arise, they’re not always present in the feet. Since your balance and posture start with the way your feet interact with the ground, flat feet can alter the mechanics of your body above the ankles too. We’ve gathered some of the more common complications that might arise for a patient with flat feet.
The strong band running from the heel up the rear of the ankle to the calf, the Achilles tendon often faces extra strain because of flatfoot. This creates micro tears and inflammation, creating the condition known as Achilles tendinitis. You may require greater periods of rest to allow more thorough healing. Orthotics and splints may also help the condition.
Flat feet can lead to weak gait stability, forcing joints like the ankles, knees, and hips to work harder to provide the balance that typically starts with the foot. This extra work could lead to the wear-and-tear condition called osteoarthritis, the most common form of degenerative joint condition.
The band of tissue that acts as the “string” to the foot’s bow, the plantar fascia becomes susceptible to micro tears and inflammation, too. It typically develops as heel pain that’s bad in the morning, but that loosens up quickly before returning after you spend time on your feet. This inflammatory condition is called plantar fasciitis.
Flat feet change the orientation of your toes within shoes. Since shoe design works around average arch height, a flatfooted patient develops calluses and corns more easily. Bunions and hammertoes are also more common when you have flat feet.
With no arch, your feet rotate inward, a motion called pronation. This rotation creates strain on your ankle and forces your knees inward. Pronated feet also cause shin splints and bunions.
If you have concerns about flat feet, we have seven locations throughout the Hudson Valley, so we’re conveniently located to help you with all your foot-related medical needs. Schedule your appointment by phone or online with the office of your choice. We’ll examine, diagnose, and treat your flatfoot condition to minimize the damage done. Book your visit today.