Flat feet are usually asymptomatic for young children, but if you don’t have foot arches as a teen or adult, it’s often an uncomfortable or painful problem. At Gelbmann Podiatry in the Near Southside and West Town areas of Chicago, Illinois, the podiatric care team has all the latest solutions and options for flatfoot treatment. Podiatrists David Gelbmann, DPM, and Ramsha Tanwir, DPM, understand flat feet frustrations and offer customized care and symptom management. Call the office in your area or book an appointment online today.
Flatfoot, or flat feet, means you don't have a distinct upwards arc in the center of your foot. Normally, your foot tendons and ligaments work together to establish and maintain your arch. With flat feet, the arch never developed, or it collapsed following development.
Children don't have foot arches at birth but usually develop them by age 2-3. Some children never develop arches, and most adults with flat feet never had arches as a child, either.
There are a couple of reasons that flat feet can happen suddenly, including foot injury and overuse.
Flat feet are usually painless in kids, but many teenagers and adults with flat feet experience soreness and pain associated with physical activity. Dull pain after extended periods off of your feet can also be common.
If flat feet hurt, they may also cause leg and back pain. In addition to the pain of flatfoot, many sufferers also notice that their heels, knees, and lower back feel tired sooner than they normally do while working out.
Your Gelbmann Podiatry doctor can diagnose flat feet with an exam and check your foot for symptoms like stiffness, swelling, and pain. They'll typically ask you to sit, stand, and walk to observe any changes that occur with movement.
Your diagnosis may include digital X-rays, ultrasound, and 3D foot scanning. Imaging can rule out serious underlying foot issues while identifying movement problems that make your flatfoot worse.
You'll discuss your symptoms and describe any issues so your doctor can personalize a treatment plan to combat symptoms.
If your flat feet cause pain, fatigue, or other types of discomfort, treatment can help. Untreated flat feet can potentially cause or contribute to changes in the foot. For example, flat feet can cause ligament instability. This instability can put extra pressure on your joints, potentially leading to arthritis.
Untreated flat feet could lead to serious long-term structural damage, so it's best to correct the issue now.
Your Gelbmann Podiatry doctor can prescribe treatments like custom orthotics, special foot exercises, footwear changes, and physical therapy to help you relieve symptoms, and, if possible, establish an arch.
In severe cases, your podiatrist might recommend flatfoot reconstructive surgery to rebuild your foot's arch support structures.
If flat feet are causing pain, foot tiredness, or other problems, get the help you need at Gelbmann Podiatry. Call the office in your area or schedule a consultation online today.