Pes Planus - Fallen Arches
Flatfoot may be an inherited condition or may be caused by an injury or
condition such as rheumatoid
arthritis, stroke, or diabetes.
People who have flat feet rarely have symptoms or problems. Some people may have pain because of:
in work environment
- Minor injury
- Sudden weight gain
- Excessive standing, walking,
jumping, or running
- Poorly fitted footwear
Children sometimes have foot discomfort and leg aches associated with flat-footedness
Treatment in adults generally
consists of wearing spacious, comfortable shoes with good arch support. Your doctor may recommend padding for the heel (heel
cup) or orthotic shoe devices, which are molded pieces of rubber, leather, metal, plastic, or other synthetic material that
are inserted into a shoe. They balance the foot in a neutral position and cushion the foot from excessive pounding.
For children, treatment using corrective shoes or inserts is rarely needed,
as the arch usually develops normally by age 5.
is rarely needed.
You may be able to relieve heel pain by stretching tight calf muscles.
Foot-strengthening exercises done with a towel and weights
- Stand about 1 ft (30 cm) from a wall and place the palms of both hands against the wall at chest level.
- Step back with one foot, keeping that leg straight at the knee, and both feet flat on the
floor. Your feet should point directly at the wall or slightly in toward the center of your body. Keep the knee of the leg
nearest the wall centered over the ankle.
- Bend your other (front)
leg at the knee, and press the wall with both hands until you feel a gentle stretch on your back leg (calf muscle).
- Hold for a count of 10 (increasing the count to 30 or longer as you continue over several
weeks). Switch legs and repeat. Do this 2 to 4 times a day
- Place a towel on
the floor, and sit down in a chair in front of it with both feet resting flat on the towel at one end.
- Grip the towel with the toes of one foot (keep your heel on the floor and use your other foot to
anchor the towel). Curl your toes to pull the towel toward you.
with the other foot. To increase strength, later use 3 lb (1.5 kg) to 5 lb (2.5 kg) weights (such as a large can of fruit or vegetables) on the other end of the towel.
Foot-stretching exercises done with a towel
- Sit down on the floor
or a mat with your feet stretched out in front of you.
up a towel lengthwise and then loop it over one foot (around the ball of your foot).
- Take one end of the towel in either hand and gently pull the towel towards your body to stretch the front
of your foot. Repeat with the other foot.
people—especially competitive athletes, people who want to return to a heavy sports program, or people who are highly
motivated—may choose more intensive strengthening and flexibility programs. A physical therapist or trainer can help
supervise a program recommended by your sports medicine specialist or a foot specialist, such as an orthopedist or podiatrist.
with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), heat, or massage may help with foot pain and leg discomfort. If flatfoot
is related to another condition, surgery or other treatment may be needed.