The arch of your foot is its main supportive structure. If this arch loses strength, the bony framework begins to collapse, causing your foot to flatten. Like a sagging bridge, the weakness in the middle strains the joints at both ends of your foot.
There are many causes of flat feet. Some people are born with them. Others acquire flat feet as a result of arthritis, trauma, or musculoskeletal disorders. Overuse or repeated pounding on hard surfaces can also weaken the foot’s arch.
Discomfort from flat feet often doesn’t appear for years. At some point, pain may be felt and walking may become awkward as increasing strain is put on your feet and calves.
The excess strain from flat feet can cause other foot problems, such as hammertoes, bunions, heel spurs, arch strain, corns, neuromas, and sagging joints. Flat feet can also affect other parts of the body, causing fatigue, pain, or stiffness in the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.
To determine the best treatment for your problem, your doctor will look into your medical history and ask about the length and frequency of your symptoms, the types of activities you’re involved in, and any pain or problems you may have in other parts of your body. You doctor will do a complete examination of your foot, including a gait analysis to observe the movement and stability of your legs and feet as you walk.