Painful Flat Feet

One of the most common things I hear from patients is their feet are tired and hurt, and patients wonder why. Usually, tired, sore feet are the result of flat feet. Flat feet are a progressive collapse of the arches, which can be due to trauma, bone and joint malformations, ligament laxity, weakened muscle, or imbalance with biomechanical problems. There is a strong genetic predisposition to having flat feet or Pes Planus.

Over time, the deformity gets worse. Patients start getting symptoms that range from tired feet to severe pain in the feet, ankles, legs, knees, and even lower back. Many will notice their shoes are wearing out quicker or the heels of their shoes are slanted. This is due to abnormal structural changes of the foot.

Flat Foot Deformity can start at an early age, and parents need to check not only their own feet but those of their children. A simple way to check is to stand in front of a full length mirror and see if the inside of your ankle bone is slanted toward the floor. Also, if you cant put your index finger under your arch without lifting it, you may have flat feet. Another simple test is to wet your feet and stand on paper and look at the shape of the imprint. If the arch does not curve in, the foot is flat. Also, have someone look at the back of your heels, and if the heels are slanted out while standing you likely have flat feet.

The pain may begin slowly, and other deformities may develop like bunions, hammertoes, bone spurs, plantar fasciitis, ankle pain or abnormal gait. Dr. Bowman will take X-rays to determine the extent of the deformity, analyze your gait, and perform a biomechanical examination. Treatment can be as easy as wearing proper shoes, physical therapy, or a custom made device for your shoes called Orthotics to control the structure of your foot and place it in its anatomically correct position.

In severe cases or when conservative treatment fails, surgery may be recommended to realign the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bones which are meant to give the patient a more stable and functional foot without pain.

If you have this problem, or any of the symptoms mentioned, see your foot specialist for an evaluation and examination. We urge parents not to wait because catching it early and treating with conservative methods may prevent many deformities from occurring. Visit Dr. Bowmans Web site and view the educational videos to learn more at

Category: Foot Problems

Tags: Flat Feet, foot pain, Foot Problems, Orthotics, Physical Therapy, shoes