Everybody emerges from the womb with flat feet. If we’re lucky – and most of us are – we’re blessed with arches sometime before our third birthday or so. Arches in your feet serve an important purpose: they help keep your weight evenly balanced. Each time you take a step, the muscles, bones and soft tissues that make up your arches move together in a way that makes walking and running safe and comfortable.
Unfortunately, some people do have the bad luck of never developing arches. Their feet remain flat as a baby’s, often because the condition runs in their family. Others develop arches, but they flatten due to diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, traumatic injury, or simple aging. Yes, the ravages of time can cause your arches to disappear.
What’s so bad about having flat feet?
There may be no consequences for some people – flat feet give them no pain or discomfort. But for many others, especially those who’ve lived a long time with the condition, flat feet can eventually cause a host of problems:
- feet that tire easily
- toes or ankles that go numb
- leg pain
- back pain
- lack of flexibility in the foot
- foot or ankle swelling
- plantar fasciitis
See a podiatrist if you have pain
If pain from flat feet is interfering with your life, make an appointment with Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, our board-certified podiatrist at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center. We can help you find relief with more supportive shoes, orthotics that Dr. Wilhelm will customize to fit your feet, physical therapy, and stretching exercises. Excess pounds put more pressure on an already stressed, flattened arch, so losing weight is another great help if you are overweight. Finally, surgery may be an option.
To relieve suffering from flatfoot, call our Centreville office at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online. Dr. Wilhelm welcomes patients from Fairfax County and the greater Northern Virginia area.