- Genetics: Genetics plays a major role in the development of flatfoot, as many cases are inherited due to structural defects in the foot bones that cause them to flatten when the person stands. This may be due to issues with the ligaments and tendons of the foot, causing a flattening of the arch.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy is also a possible cause of flatfoot, as the body releases hormones during this period that cause laxity in the ligaments in the feet, leading to flattening of the arch. This is particularly common in the third trimester when the body prepares for childbirth.
- Overweight/Obesity: Being overweight and/or obese can also cause flatfoot, as excess weight puts additional strain on the feet which can lead to the arch flattening. This can worsen overtime if roles and lifestyle remain unchanged.
- Arthritis: Arthritis is another possible cause of flatfoot, as it can cause pain and stiffness in the feet which can lead to flattening of the arch. This is especially common in elderly individuals who have chronic arthritis.
- Injury: trauma or injury to the foot can also cause flatfoot, due to swollen ligaments and tendons or fractures of the bones in the foot. This is why it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you have an injury to the foot.
Knowing the potential causes of flatfoot can help take appropriate steps to prevent the condition from developing, or worsening.
Even though there is no cure for flat feet, there are a variety of treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms. For diagnosis and treatment plans, it's important to seek the advice of a qualified podiatrist. One of the most common treatments for flat feet is to wear shoes with extra arch support, avoid wearing flip flops, or invest in fitted orthotics. This can help relieve the effects of having flat feet. Exercise is also an important part of treating the problem. Exercises that strengthen the muscles in the feet and legs can help support the arch, such as calf raises and ankle circles. It's also important to avoid high impact activities, such as running and jumping, as well as high-heeled shoes. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. However, this should only be considered after all other treatment options have been exhausted. A qualified podiatrist should be consulted to better diagnose the underlying cause and create a treatment plan. With the right treatments and lifestyle modifications, flat feet can be managed, and the symptoms relieved.