Flat Feet (also known as Pes Planus or Fallen Arches) is a common problem in which the arches of the foot collapse. This causes almost all of the foot to come into contact with the ground when standing or walking. Flat Feet causes the whole foot to roll inwards (known as Over-Pronation)
This problem not only causes the tendons in the foot to become over stretched and damaged but also puts excess stress on the knees, hips and lower back.
Flat Feet can also make it harder for our body weight to be evenly distributed. This will result in shoes wearing down un-evenly which can lead to further injury.
Very young children normally have flat feet – this is just how most of us a born. The arches of the feet develop when standing as we get older.
Some people just do not develop the arches in the foot and this stays flat throughout life.
There are several conditions which can cause Flat Feet and this includes:
Damage to the bones in the foot and/or ankle
Conditions such as Arthritis which affect the bones and soft tissue
Torn tendons (especially the Posterior Tibial Tendon)
Obesity – the excessive weight placed n the tendons will cause the arch to collapse.
Aging – sadly as we get older our tendons can become weaker and cannot support the foot as much.
Pregnancy – Flat Feet are very common in pregnancy
Solutions for Flat Feet
Orthotic Insoles - The best solution for this problem is a pair of FootActive orthotic (arch support) insoles. FootActive insoles support the arch of the foot and stabilise the heel. This stops the inward rolling and so will also prevent the excessive strain on the knees, hips and lower back.
Stretching exercises can also be hugely beneficial. Many people with Flat Feet also have shortened Achilles Tendons. Exercises to stretch this tendon can help. Please see our stretching videos here.