Flat Feet (Pes Planus)

Flat Feet (or fallen arches) are an anatomical condition where the sole of your foot touches the ground, with little or no arch present. Common causes include genetics, foot injury, or age-associated deterioration.

At Specialized Physical Therapy, our physical therapists offer personalized treatment for your flat feet to reduce symptoms and restore optimal function levels.

An Overview: Flat Feet

Flat feet are characterized by the loss of the longitudinal arch of the foot, deformity of the heel valgus, or medial talar prominence. The fallen arches cause the sole to come in contact with the surface you stand on.

At young ages, there are little to no symptoms of this condition. It commonly occurs in children around three years and is usually resolved spontaneously within the first ten years of life. In some cases, it may develop into a painful, rigid form, posing the risk of disability.

There are two forms of flat feet: flexible and rigid. In flexible flat feet, the foot’s arch appears whenever you elevate your heels and disappears when you stand. On the other hand, individuals with rigid flat feet have no visible arches, regardless of the position.

Fallen arches might increase the risk of physical health issues caused by the misalignment of your feet. In turn, its deformed shape affects your ankles, knees, legs, and overall movement. If the problem persists, you may face some discomfort when you walk, run, or climb stairs. 

Symptoms

The symptoms of flat feet include:

  • Foot pain inside the arch, ankle, or heel or on the outside of the foot below the ankle
  • Generalized foot fatigue
  • Difficulty keeping up with physical activities involving foot movements
  • Pain in the shin, knee, hip, or lower back region

A flat foot may eventually cause the foot and ankle to roll in and tilt outward of the heel in some cases.  

Some people with flat feet may experience leg pain because of:   

  • Standing, walking, running, or jumping for prolonged periods
  • Minor foot injury
  • Changes in the work environment
  • A sudden increase in body weight
  • Ill-fitted footwear

It is common for children with a flat foot to experience foot discomfort and leg pain.

Causes of Flat Feet

Typical causes of flat feet include:

  • Genetics
  • Certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Tarsal coalitions (a condition in which the joints of the foot fuse together, leading to problems with movement)  
  • Localized wear and tear that might cause the feet to become flattened over time 

Diagnosis

Our physical therapists perform a comprehensive physical examination to assess the structure and functionality of your flat feet. They also observe how this condition affects your movement, gait, and balance. This is determined through a series of tests, generally involving walking, running, and climbing stairs.

We also review medical history, foot/leg pain patterns, and symptoms to identify the primary cause of flat feet.  Having a better understanding of your condition makes it easier for our specialists to develop a personalized physical therapy treatment for flat foot.

Treatment

At Specialized Physical Therapy, we believe in delivering customized treatment for flat foot. That means we go above and beyond to address individual foot problems. 

Our treatments and therapy techniques for flat feet may vary from person to person. Our programs are developed according to the type, stage of progression, and symptoms observed during the initial assessment.

We aim to help you manage your foot pain by enhancing your form and foot strength. Stretching and strengthening exercises are incorporated to ensure that your flat feet can withstand the pressure of your daily routine. Targeted physical therapy for foot pain can also resolve misalignment issues and reduce leg pain and fatigue.  

If required, we recommend supportive shoes and arch supports that allow you to walk without difficulty.

These results make it easier for you to continue performing physical activities such as walking, running, and participating in sports, despite flattened feet.  The treatment plan also reduces the risk of developing other medical issues caused by the deformity.

Schedule an initial consultation to receive quality care and effective treatment at Specialized Physical Therapy clinic in Fair Lawn, NJ. Please call 201-773-8851 for further details.

Request a free consultation or give us a call to get started!