Believe it or not, flat feet are a condition that is sometimes classed as a deformity. While this may be a little extreme, flat feet are uncomfortable, and can cause some distress to the sufferer. This is common in people who have little or no physical activity in their lives, and at its worst can look distressing. The discomfort comes with the fact that the foot can actually change in shape quite drastically. You can be born with flat feet too, so it can be hereditary. Finally, flat feet can come about due to the sufferer’s preference for running or walking excessively on hard surfaces.
Flat feet present the sufferer with a range of symptoms. Perhaps the most common symptom for a sufferer of the condition is pain when standing. This pain can be quite acute and is often the first point at which the patient sees a doctor for advice.
The patient may also find himself or herself limping. This is often due to the lack of strength in the foot, which can no longer easily ‘push off’ when walking. This lack of strength is accompanied by a pronounced pain, which leads to the limp in the sufferer.
All in the shoes
You can also see signs of the condition if you look at the shoes the person is wearing. You can note excessive wear of the midsole area of the shoe, for example. This is to be found along the inside border of the heel and the mid-foot area. If you went to a podiatrist, he or she would be able to tell if you had the condition quite easily.
For example, the very first step the podiatrist may take is to take a look at the height of the arches in the feet. If the arch is lowered, along with obvious physical changes, they may well diagnose flat feet.
Sufferers can wear a special insole in their shoes that prevents their foot from over pronating (rolling) when they walk or run. These are called orthotics, and are widely available. They often do a lot to help with flat feet. While it is true to say that flat feet are often more of an inconvenience than a pain, it is important to remember that many people do suffer some pain with the condition. So using an orthotic is a good idea, to reduce the problem and bring relief to the feet.
In very rare cases, it is sometime true that surgery may be needed for this condition. It has to be stressed that this is very rare and if it does take place then the surgery itself will be minimal and not cause any long-term effects.
Having this condition is not a major issue, but sometimes it can be quite painful. Using various solutions such as orthotics can relieve both the pain and the distress of having flat feet. If in doubt, always consult your doctor first to gain a full understanding of your options when suffering from this condition.