Pes planus, commonly known as flat feet or fallen arches, is a condition in which the arches of the feet are flattened, causing the entire sole of the foot to make contact with the ground. Normally, the foot has an arch that provides a supportive structure, enabling it to absorb shock and distribute the body weight evenly during activities like walking and running. In individuals with pes planus, this arch is reduced or absent.
In this type, the arch of the foot is visible when the person is sitting or standing on their toes, but it disappears when they put weight on their feet. This condition is often painless and may not cause significant issues with mobility.
In rigid pes planus, the arch is not present regardless of whether the person is bearing weight on the foot or not. Rigid flat feet may be associated with more severe symptoms and can contribute to foot pain and functional limitations.
Flat feet can be inherited, and a family history of pes planus may increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
Weak or tight muscles in the feet and lower legs can contribute to the development of flat feet.
Abnormalities in the tendons and ligaments of the feet can affect the arch structure.
Trauma or injuries to the feet, such as fractures or dislocations, can lead to flat feet.
Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and neuromuscular disorders, may be associated with flat feet.
The symptoms of flat feet can vary, and some individuals may not experience any discomfort. However, common symptoms include:
Foot pain particularly in the arch or heel.
Swelling along the inside of the ankle.
Tired or achy feet.
Difficulty standing on tiptoes due to decresed arch strength.
Treatment for flat feet depends on the severity of symptoms and may include:
Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help alleviate symptoms.
Custom or over-the-counter orthotic inserts can provide additional support and help distribute pressure evenly.
Exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the feet and lower legs may be beneficial.
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on the feet.
Over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications may help manage pain and inflammation.
In cases of severe pain or deformity, surgical intervention may be considered to reconstruct the arch or address other structural issues.
Individuals with flat feet who experience pain or discomfort should consult with a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate management plan.
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