Typically, adult feet have an upward curve in the middle. This is the arch and it is formed by the action of several tendons in the foot and lower leg. Typically, the tendons work together to create the proper amount of tension, and the foot forms a moderate arch. When tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch. This is called flat foot or fallen arch, medically referred to as pes planus.
Causes of Fallen Arches
There are several factors that can contribute to the risk of fallen arches and likelihood of their development, including:
- Family history
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Torn, stretched, or damaged tendons
- Medical conditions including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms of Fallen Arches
It’s possible to have fallen arches without any issues, but it’s unlikely. People with flat feet typically experience symptoms including foot pain (particularly in the heels and arches), leg pain, lower back pain, swollen feet or ankles, discomfort standing or walking, and difficulty engaging in physically strenuous activities such as jogging or running.
If you’re experiencing foot discomfort and are wondering if pes planus might be the cause, you can do an easy, at home test to see if you might have fallen arches or flat feet. Get your feet wet and stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show, such as a concrete walkway or even a brown grocery bag. Step off and take a look. There should be a blank, dry spot at the inner edge of your foot, toward the middle, where the arch ought to be. If you see complete imprints of the bottom of your feet on the surface, you may have flat feet.
Foot pain is not a normal part of adulthood. It can be avoided or corrected. If your feet, ankles, or lower legs are in pain, click here or call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jason Grossman in our comfortable and convenient Old Bridge or Sayreville offices. With decades of specialized education and experience, Jason Grossman, DPM is ready to thoroughly examine your feet, accurately diagnose any current or potential areas of concern, create an individualized treatment plan, and offer comprehensive follow up to ensure that you’re feeling great into the new year and beyond.