A Comprehensive Guide to Flat Feet

A Comprehensive Guide to Flat Feet

The presence of no arch or a low arch in the feet is referred to as flat feet. Many adults suffer from this condition. Although flat feet can be painful, they can also be effectively treated irrespective of your age. 

What are Flat Feet?

When either or both of your feet do not have a significant arch, they are classified as having flat feet. When you stand on your feet, the pads push down against the ground's surface. In most cases, your foot's arch is not visible, although sometimes it can be observed when you lift your foot.

An individual with flat feet experiences difficulty maintaining proper alignment while standing, walking, or running. Thus, being flat-footed increases the risk of experiencing pain in the hips, knees, and ankles. People with collapsed arches may also experience pain in the arches of the foot. Fallen arches are similar to flat feet.

When a foot is lowered to the ground, either the inner or middle side of the foot touches the ground rather than remaining elevated. In such situations, the foot rolls inwards, resulting in overpronation. When no symptoms are present, it is not considered a disorder. 

Most of the time, flat feet do not cause problems. Some treatments can help a person with flat feet.

Which Are The Most Common Types Of Flat Feet?

Whether the condition persists or develops during adulthood, the effects can be detrimental. Listed below are some types of flat feet:


The most prevalent flatfoot type is flexible. You can see the arches of your feet when you sit. When you stand, the arches disappear. This usually occurs during childhood or adolescence. The condition gradually worsens. Ligaments and tendons may become stretched, torn, and swollen in an arch foot.


In rigid flat feet, there is no arch when you stand or sit (with weight on your feet). This condition affects teenagers, and it gets worse with age. It may cause foot pain. Your feet may have trouble moving or flexing. It may affect both or one foot.

Adult-Acquired (Fallen Arch)

Adults with flat feet (fallen arches) may experience the sudden collapse of the foot arch. The foot turns out when the arch collapses. There may be a single affected foot. A tibial tendon (posterior tibial tendon) is irritated or damaged, supporting the arch.

Vertical Talus

A birth defect called vertical talus prevents babies from developing arches. The ankle's talus bone is positioned improperly. A rocking chair's bottom is like the bottom of the foot. The talus vertical is also called the rocker's foot.

 Why Do Flat Feet Occur?

Children can naturally outgrow flat feet, unlike adults. This problem is likely to occur in children since their arches are not yet fully developed. Orthotics and inserts can assist children in developing their arches. Some adults with flat feet have flat feet from childhood and inherit them as adults. 

When children become adults, their feet with a normal arch typically develop flat feet or posterior tibial tendon insufficiency. These conditions can worsen with age. People who roll their feet in when they walk are more likely to develop this condition. Therefore, the ligaments and tendons supporting a natural foot arch are strained. 

People may develop this condition if they repeatedly run, walk without proper arch support, or get proper post-injury treatment. Adults with flat feet are also susceptible to:

  • Age - Flat feet are more common in elderly and sedentary individuals over the age of 40.
  • Pregnancy - Pregnant women often experience flat feet.
  • Overweight - Overweight people have weak arches and are prone to foot pain.
  • Uncontrolled Medical Condition - Many people with diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatoid arthritis develop flat feet.
  • Injury - Flatfoot usually occurs after an injury caused by a strained tendon or fracture.

What Are The Symptoms Of Flat Feet?

A person with flat feet usually doesn't have any problems or pain. Unfortunately, some types of flat feet are painful. You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Having leg cramps
  • Achy or fatigued legs or feet
  • Foot pain from the ankles, heels, or soles
  • Have trouble walking fats or changing your gait
  • Footfalls when walking (toes pointing forward)

A person with acquired flatfoot experiences problems with the feet and ankles. Injuries or illnesses can cause flat feet, which may lead to complications such as:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Standing for long periods

The Treatments Recommended For Flat Feet

Many flat-footed people experience pain. Eventually, treatment will eliminate it. Common treatments include:

  • Rest: In most cases, rest and ice can alleviate pain associated with flat feet.
  • Physical Therapy: Runners and athletes are treated with exercise and therapies to manage their conditions.
  • Stretching: Adults with flat feet often have tight Achilles tendons. They can be relieved by stretching.
  • Medication: If you are experiencing pain or swelling, you should consider taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Orthotics: A custom orthotic made by your podiatrist will provide you with extra cushioning in your arch. You can also purchase over-the-counter arch supports like PodiMe Innersoles. The orthotic will also ensure proper foot alignment.
  • Supportive Shoes: Shoes that support and stabilize the foot arch while walking can help people with flat feet.
  • Surgery: Surgery is more likely in severe cases. The treatment for early-stage flatfoot can be an osteotomy or a tendon transfer. Fusion surgery for arthritis-induced flatfoot causes a permanent fix. While not every case is the same, several treatments will usually work together. The condition can also be treated non-surgically using other methods, such as braces and orthotics. A podiatrist can determine the best course of action depending on your condition.

Bottom Line

In the end, flat feet can cause serious problems in your daily life if not treated. Supporting your fallen arch back with orthotics can help. Insoles for flat feet can help you eventually get rid of flat feet. Get Innersoles Podime Orthotics today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you correct flat feet?

Flat feet are rarely problematic or require treatment. If you have foot pain or stiffness, your health provider may recommend nonsurgical treatments. Most people do not need surgery to correct rigid flat feet, bone problems, or tendon problems.

Is flat feet a serious problem?

A fallen arch is the cause of pes planus. Infants often have this condition that disappears between 2 and 3 years of age. It is when the tendons and ligaments in their legs and feet tighten. Having flat feet as a child is rarely a serious issue, but it can persist into adulthood.

What problems do flat feet cause?

Symptoms include flat feet and fatigue on the inner side of the feet (especially when carrying weight). The condition can cause soft tissue inflammation. Leg and foot fatigue may also occur.

Can orthotics help flat feet?

Foot orthotics do not correct fallen arches. Orthotics can reposition the foot's structures, allowing them to move more easily and reducing injury risks.

Do flat feet require arch support? 

If you have flat feet that hurt, the doctor might prescribe orthotic devices. Over-the-counter arch supports can alleviate flat feet. Your doctor may also recommend custom-designed arch supports moulded to fit your unique foot contours.