Flat feet is a type of foot deformity when the arches of the foot flatten and it loses its cushioning properties.
Flat feet most often develops in women, leading to various complications in the form of pathology of the joints of the legs, the inability to choose shoes, difficulty walking, ingrown nails, and so on.
With flat feet, the natural curves of the arch of the foot are smoothed out, which exist to cushion and soften the load when walking. Depending on the shape of flat feet, the foot either flattens lengthwise, which often leads to an increase in the length of the foot and an increase in shoe size, or excessive arching of the arch of the foot occurs. In this case, the excessive load falls on the forefoot, the fingers spread out, deform, the foot becomes wide, which complicates the selection of shoes.
Causes of flat feet
Flat feet can be degenerate, rachitic (when the bones of the foot are weakened and the usual load leads to their deformation), paralytic (occurs when the muscles of the foot are weak), traumatic (formed after fractures of the bones of the foot, lower leg, joint pathology).
Most often, static flat feet are observed. In this case, various factors are the cause of foot deformity: excessive load (standing work, frequent wearing of shoes with heels, obesity), weakness of the muscles of the foot, lower leg (in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, with aging), hereditary predisposition.
Manifestations of flat feet
Signs of flat feet in childhood are expressed in uneven trampling of shoes, clubfoot gait, frequent calluses and scuffs of the foot, even in comfortable shoes. The child heavily splashes clothing when walking in wet weather.
In adults, there are signs of damage to the joints of the legs, without depreciation by the sole, they wear out faster: pain in the ankle and knee joints, arthritis, arthrosis, deformity of the knee joints, and so on. When walking for a long time, pain, heaviness, and swelling appear in the feet. In some forms of flat feet, a deformity of the big toe develops, bumps on the bone of the big toe, and so on.
Read more: Can it be cured?
Diagnosis and treatment of flat feet
Diagnosis of flat feet is carried out by an orthopedist. An accurate confirmation of the diagnosis is an x-ray of the foot, although with severe flat feet, the diagnosis can be made during an external examination.
Flat feet are completely curable only in childhood. The main goals of treatment in adults are to stop the progression of the process, remove the painful manifestations of flat feet, and prevent complications.
As a rule, conservative methods of treatment of flat feet are used. These include massage of the feet and legs, special daily gymnastics, wearing orthopedic insoles and shoes.
In severe cases (inability to pick up shoes, difficulty walking, etc.), they resort to surgical correction.