Posts for tag: Flat Feet
Flat feet are when a person's entire sole touches the floor when standing. This can be problematic for many individuals, just ask Dr. George Abboud of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists in Reading, MA.
What are the symptoms of flat feet?
Flat feet aren't usually painful unless you're playing a sport or doing any sort of walking activity, but there are several other symptoms to note:
- Discomfort because shoes feel uneven
- Feet tire easily
- Painful in arches, heels, and back
Symptoms of flat feet manifest during late childhood. If a toddler or young child experiences foot pain, you may need to visit your Reading podiatrist.
What causes flat feet?
Flat feet may be a result of many things:
- A congenital defect
- Damaged, inflamed, stretched, or torn tendons
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Health conditions: obesity, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve problems
How are flat feet diagnosed?
Podiatrists use several tools and tests during your physical examination, like x-rays and MRIs.
What are treatment options?
There are several treatment options, some invasive and others conservative.
Conservative methods include:
- Orthotic arch support
- Physical therapy
- Foot exercises
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Injected medications
- Braces or casts
Invasive methods come down to surgery. If painful flat feet don't respond to non-operative measures, speak with your podiatrist about surgery, like:
- Fusing bones together
- Removing bones or growths
- Changing the shape of the bone
- Using tendons from other parts of your body to help form an arch
- Grafting bone
Need a consultation?
Flat feet are painful and you don't need to live with that sort of discomfort. If you have any questions or concerns about flat feet, you should contact your Reading, MA, podiatrist, Dr. George Abboud. He can help examine, diagnose, and treat you or a loved one's foot problems. For more information or to schedule an appointment at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, call (781) 944-4044.
What causes flat feet?
Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.
Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?
The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.
What are some ways to treat flat feet?
If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
- Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
- Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
- Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
- Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
- Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
While there are many people with flat feet, often times they won’t even know it; however, there are others with flat feet that regularly experience pain, soreness, and other problems. While flat feet is rarely considered a serious issue, if you are dealing with problems as a result of your flat feet it’s important that you turn to a podiatrist who can offer up ways to prevent problems.
How to tell if you have flat feet
If the arches of your feet touch the floor when you stand then you have flat feet. The arches of our feet don’t actually develop until around the age of six; however, sometimes flat feet develop due to injury or repeated stress on the feet.
Symptoms of flat feet
The most common symptom of flat feet is foot pain that originates in the heels and arches. You may find that the pain gets worse when standing or moving for long periods of time. Those who are physically active may experience pain more regularly. Sometime swelling on the inside of the foot or ankle may also occur.
Potential complications of flat feet
Since flat feet can be responsible for misalignments, this can lead to ankle and knee problems. If you are noticing foot, ankle, knee, hip, or lower back pain then you will want to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to find out what’s going on.
Treating flat feet
If you aren’t experiencing pain or other issues then you won’t require any treatment for your flat feet. While we can’t fix flat feet our podiatrist can provide you with simple solutions to reduce pain and discomfort associated with faulty biomechanics within the feet. Common ways to prevent flat foot-related pain include:
- Using arch supports in your shoes, which can take pressure off the arches and provide cushioning and support when standing or moving.
- Performing certain stretching exercises prescribed by a podiatrist. There are specific exercises designed to stretch the Achilles tendon to alleviate and prevent foot pain.
- Wearing the appropriate footwear that provides further arch support. Shoes that are old and worn, as well as certain styles such as sandals or flip-flops won’t provide your feet with the proper support they need.
- Undergoing physical therapy if you are dealing with foot pain due to overuse injuries, which is common among athletes. Physical therapy can help strengthen certain ligaments, tendons and muscles of the feet and ankles to prevent excessive wear and tear, as well as pain and soreness in the arches and heels.
If you are dealing with pain due to flat feet and can’t seem to get your discomfort under control then you will want to talk with a podiatrist who can recommend certain exercises, proper footwear, and custom orthotics to improve the health of your feet. Talk to a podiatrist today.
Did you know that according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) improper care of your feet during exercise is a factor in over 300 foot injuries and disorder? At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists we want our patients to be in good shape but not at the expense of your feet. Here are some ways you can protect your podiatric health while you work out:
Get a Check Up: We’ve all heard how you should “consult your physician” before starting a new exercise program but many people neglect to realize that includes your feet. If you’ve had previous injuries or have existing conditions such as bunions or flat feet, your podiatrists can make specific recommendations regarding activities and footwear that will be less stressful on your trouble spots.
Listen to Your Feet: Pain is never normal. While you may experience sore muscles when you first start a new sport or program, stabbing pain, extreme pain or pain that doesn’t go away is a sign that something is wrong. Continuing to bear weight on a hurt foot or engaging in the same motion that is causing the pain will most likely lead to serious injury.
Get the Gear: You can skip the fancy shorts or sports logo t-shirt but don’t skimp on quality footwear. Today, footwear is designed specifically for the motion that a particular sport requires. Having fitness shoes or sneakers that fit properly and support your foot where needed is one of the biggest precautions you can take to prevent sports injuries. Get professionally fitted by someone experienced with sport shoes.
Sweat the Small Stuff: Some common foot problems that occur with exercise are blisters, shin splints, athlete’s foot, corns and calluses. Although none of these are major medical problems, don’t ignore them. For any of these or more serious pain and discomfort, make an appointment at our Reading office to see one of our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. by calling (781) 944-4044.
Do you suffer from bunions, flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendonitis? These are just a few of many common foot conditions that can be helped with orthotics. Orthotics, or orthoses, are any device that goes inside your shoes with a goal of protecting a painful or injured part of your foot or to change the mechanics of how your foot is positioned when standing or walking. In some cases, orthotics fulfill both roles. There are many kinds of orthotics and some are available over-the-counter while others are custom made. There are three basic types of orthotics:
- Rigid Orthotics—as their name implies, these orthotics are made of a hard material, such as carbon fiber or plastic. Their primary purpose is to control the function and motion of two major joints below the ankle joint. They are made from a mold or another kind of image done by your podiatrist. Rigid orthotics are usually inserted into walking or dress shoes and can help eliminate strains and aches in the lower back, thighs, and legs.
- Soft Orthotics—these orthotics are also made from a plaster cast mold or other image and then are constructed of cushiony materials that can be worn on the sole of the foot. Soft orthotics protect sore spots and absorb shock. This makes them effective in treating arthritic or deformed feet.
- Semi-Rigid Orthotics—fashioned to provide increased balance and to treat flatfoot and in- or out-toeing, especially in children, these orthotics are made of alternating layers of soft and rigid materials. Semi-rigid orthotics are often used to help athletes to avoid pain when they are training or playing a sport.
Only a qualified podiatrist will know the correct orthotics to prescribe for your particular foot condition. Our podiatrists, Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond will do a thorough examination of your foot and take a complete medical history first. Then they will be able to tell you if orthotics might be helpful for you. To learn if orthotics can help relieve your pain and discomfort, make an appointment at our Reading office today.