When walking around all day, it’s typical for your feet to ache after a while. However, if your feet are constantly hurting after just a short period of walking, or if the rest of your body hurts after being on your feet all day, something’s wrong. While there are several complications that can impair how we walk and stand, flat feet are the most common. What are they?

What Are Flat Feet?

The term “flat feet” refers to your arches, specifically when the foot’s arch is flat, causing the whole soles to touch the ground when standing. Flat feet and underdeveloped arches are common in young children, but as they grow the foot’s arch develops. With flat feet, however, the foot either hasn’t been able to develop, or something has happened to cause the arch to deteriorate. Increased risk of deterioration comes with injury, so people who have experienced foot or ankle injuries in the past are more likely to develop flat feet over time. Other factors that may cause flat feet are body weight, aging, diabetes, and arthritis in the foot and ankles.

What Parts of the Body do Flat Feet Affect?

While this condition is not necessarily painful, an underdeveloped arch can still cause complications throughout someone’s life. For example, if the foot’s arch doesn’t develop during childhood, their legs might be aligned differently, thus causing strain on the ankles, legs and feet. Flat feet will typically affect parts of the ankle and may cause swelling, but the pain from a collapsed arch can reach as high as the hips and lower back.

Stiffness and uneven distribution of body weight may also accompany flat feet, which may cause further strain on the body while walking and standing.

How Do I Manage Foot Pain Caused by Flat Feet?

Foot pain caused by a collapsed arch is manageable; with the help of specialists, many people with flat feet can go about their day without extreme pain. To do this, podiatrists may prescribe specialty shoes for people who have flat feet that can help keep the arch raised and support the ankles while standing and walking.

 

Other times, shoe inserts can be purchased to raise and support the arch in any shoe, although open-toed shoes or shoes without backs on the heels won’t fit the inserts properly. Inserts vary based on your needs: for those who are not as active on their feet during the day, casual orthotics may work just fine, but specialty sports inserts can be purchased for people who run frequently or move their feet in a specific way that everyday orthotics can’t support.

On some occasions, a podiatrist may recommend custom orthotic inserts for a shoe, made to fit perfectly to your foot’s size and shape. These inserts are made using plaster casts of each foot and will need to be re-cast regularly in case any changes in the foot occur, or simply because of wear and tear. Typically, custom castings last one to two years.

Orthotics and specialty shoes are covered by most health insurance policies. To browse products that can help relieve your foot pain, visit Medical Supply Depot.

 

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