Flat Feet, What Are They And How To Treat Them?

Flat feet can be treated if they produce pain. One of the most used measures to correct them is custom insoles.
Flat feet, what are they and how to treat them?

A person is said to have flat or flat feet when, while standing, the entire sole of the foot is in contact with the ground. That is, the foot lacks a curve or plantar arch. It is the disease against foot cavities.

This is a very frequent feature. It is estimated that 20% of the world population has it. In addition, it is a condition that normally does not cause pain and can develop both in childhood and over the years.

However, it  can cause misalignment of the legs, and this causes problems with both ankles and knees. Therefore, in this article we explain the causes and treatments of this condition.

How are flat feet formed?

In childhood, having flat feet is normal,  as the arch of the foot is formed during this step. However, in some people, the bow never develops. This has no reason to be bad or problematic.

Flat feet can also form over the years. In this case, it usually affects only one foot. Moreover, p ode occur by aging, such as by overuse, injury or disease. Any of these situations causes damage to the tendons, which are the ones that ‘support’ the bow.

On the other hand,  there are certain factors that increase your risk of having flat feet. Among them, apart from aging and injuries, as we have already mentioned, stand out: obesity, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

walk on hard ground

In fact, a study by the University of Chile states that:

Therefore, it is important to take care of food, especially for children. Obesity can affect the development of your skeleton  and muscles.

What symptoms appear?

Most people with flat feet don’t have any symptoms. However, some experience pain, which may appear on the inside of the leg. Also, by causing a misalignment, the pain can affect the ankle or knee.

Flat feet, moreover, are associated with inwardly rotated knees, or knee valgus. This disease is called  genu valgus. It’s both a skeletal and an aesthetic problem.

Furthermore,  other symptoms are tiredness and a feeling of heaviness in the legs. It may cost more to walk. In some cases, even the spine can be affected.

What treatments are there?

In cases where there is pain, there are a number of  treatments that can improve the situation, such as:

  • Stretching exercises: are for those cases where the Achilles tendon is shorter than normal.
  • Footwear with structural support: helps relieve pain and is even more comfortable than shoes with little support.
  • Orthopedic devices: are supports for the arch. Some are sold over-the-counter, but can also be custom-designed. In short, they are customized insoles that adjust to the contour of the foot  and reduce symptoms.
Flat foot insole

In the case of children, the ideal is to try to correct their feet with certain exercises. However, from the age of 4 onwardsinsoles are usually used  that help to improve the alignment of the foot.

Even surgery can be performed. However, this is usually reserved for the most complicated cases. Still, it is usually performed in those people who also have a tendon rupture, for example.

Furthermore,  in the case of athletes, physiotherapy can be effective. This is because many cases of flat feet are caused by overuse injuries while running or performing other exercises in the wrong way. Physical therapists and trainers can avoid the problem by helping to improve technique.


Having flat feet is something frequent that does not usually cause discomfort or major problems. However, in cases where an illness does occur, there are different forms of treatment that can help. The important thing is to look for a doctor before any doubts.

Also, it is recommended to lose weight to avoid obesity. Pain can be treated with medication, although the ideal is to perform stretching exercises and physiotherapy.

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