Answers to Your Top Questions About Foot and Ankle Pain
When you’re in pain, it’s hard to focus on anything else. We understand - we can help you get started towards fast relief with these answers to the most common questions we hear about foot and ankle pain in Carolina and get youback to focusing on what actually matters to you.
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Can flat feet be caused by anything?
As with many foot conditions, a flat foot or fallen arch can be caused by many different factors, often in combination.
Most young children are naturally flat-footed. Their arches haven’t had time to properly develop, and their bones are still so soft and flexible that the arch collapses under their body weight when they stand. Most grow out of this eventually, but some do not. Genetic factors play a key role.
Flat feet that are acquired later in life are more likely to be caused by external factors. A lifetime of wear and tear causes arches to sag over time, and conditions or activities such as inflammatory arthritis, diabetes, obesity, high-impact sports participation, and more can combine to destabilize and flatten the arch much faster and with more severity.
Regardless of the cause, flat feet that are causing pain for you or a family member should be evaluated by the professionals at Carolina Podiatry Group. Let our expert podiatrists help you figure out what’s wrong and chart the best possible course for treatment. You can request an appointment online or give us a call toll free at 888-569-9559.
What are my options for treating flat feet?
The treatment options for flat feet often depend on the source and severity of your condition. If the problem is not causing you pain or other complications, then no treatment may be needed at all.
If you experience foot pain, or overpronation causes problems farther up with your ankles, knees, hips or spine, conservative treatments such as rest, ice, and stretching may be recommended. Stronger conservative options may include physical therapy, pain medications, or orthotic devices.
In severe cases, surgery may be seen as the best option, but again it depends on the specific case. Procedures may include ankle bone fusion, removal of bone spurs, and lengthening the tendons. Surgery is only considered when other options would be ineffective or have already failed.
Call Carolina Podiatry Group for help and expert guidance in treating flat feet. You can reach our office in Lancaster at (803) 285-1411 and our office in Fort Mill at (803) 548-FEET (3338).
How do I know if I have flat feet?
Flat feet characteristics are typically distinct and easy to identify. The most telling factor is when you stand or walk. If you have flat feet, the middle of your foot—your arch—will flatten out. It may roll inward when you take a step, too. Other characteristics include a heel that may appear to point outward at the ankle and a flexible, even floppy, midfoot. You may also have tight calf muscles, which affect your biomechanics and flatten the arches.
Not everyone develops pain from their flat feet, but discomfort can be a sign of the condition. Your lower limbs may fatigue more easily. Typically the arch aches, though you may also have uncomfortable calves, insides of the ankles, and outer sides of the feet. If you’re concerned you have flat feet, or are experiencing lower limb pain, let Carolina Podiatry Group help you. Contact our Lancaster and Fort Mill offices by calling—(803) 285-1411 for Lancaster, or (803) 548-FEET for Fort Mill—or by using our website.
Why does my child have flat feet?
Flat feet in children are actually quite common. It takes time for your child’s arch to develop, and some feet take longer to grow than others. The tissues that hold the bones together may be loose, too, allowing the arch to spread and flatten. Many children develop an arched midfoot as they get older and their feet mature. Sometimes, however, the arches never form and your child has naturally flat feet. This can be completely painless for some children and uncomfortable for others. Whether the condition needs treatment or just to be monitored will largely depend on your son or daughter’s discomfort.
Occasionally a more serious problem than a naturally low midfoot can lead to flat feet in children. Tarsal coalition is a problem of two separate tarsal bones fusing together. This creates a stiff, flat midfoot that can be very uncomfortable for a child. No matter what the source of the flat feet, though, if it’s causing pain, your child needs to be treated. Let Carolina Podiatry Group help with that. Use our website or call to make an appointment with us: (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster, SC, or (803) 548-FEET for Fort Mill, SC.