Flat foot in adults can arise from a variety of causes. Here are the most common:
- An abnormality that is present from birth
- Stretched or torn tendons
- Damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon (PTT), which connects from your lower leg, along your ankle, to the middle of the arch
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Some health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve problems
Other factors that can increase your risk include:
- Traumatic injury to your foot or ankle
- Rheumatoid arthritis
One of the most frequently affected tendons in the foot, is the posterior tibial tendon, a structure that is normally hard at work, throughout the contact phase of gait (when the foot is in contact with the ground).
You may experience the following symptoms:
- Feet tire easily
- Painful or achy feet, especially in the areas of the arches and heels
- The inside bottom of your feet become swollen
- Foot movement, such as standing on your toes, is difficult
- Back and leg pain
If your flatfeet are painful, your Podiatrist might suggest:
- Arch supports (orthotic devices): Your Podiatrist might suggest custom-designed arch supports, which are moulded to the contours of your feet. Arch supports won’t cure flatfeet, but they often reduce symptoms.
- Stretching exercises: Some people with flatfeet also have a shortened Achilles tendon. Exercises to stretch this tendon may help.
- Proper shoe wear: A structurally supportive shoe may be better tolerated than sandals or shoes with minimal support.