Flat feet occur when the tendons and ligaments that helps to support the foot have weakened to the point that they can no longer support the foot. This results in abnormal pressures and forces on many structures of the feet and body.
When your feet are flat, they are actually rolling inward. This inward pressure can cause pressure on the inner ankle, inner knee, the hip, and the lower back.
It is this inward pressure that helps to contribute to such conditions as:
- Ingrown toenails
- Ankle pain
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Lower back pain
If a child is discovered with flat feet, sometimes the use of a custom molded shoe insert called an orthotic is prescribed. If a child continues to wear orthotics while growing, often a permanent improvement in the structure of the feet occurs.
Adults can benefit from the use of orthotics as well. Very often, many of the symptoms associated with flat feet are improved. In addition, orthotics help to delay the progress of the conditions frequently associated with flat feet, thus delaying the need for surgery.
If flat feet are ignored, these abnormal forces on the ligaments and joints will result in permanent arthritic changes in those joints, which most often require surgery to alleviate.