When an individual develops what is known as an
“arch collapse”, they have developed flat feet in one or more of their
feet. This condition is also known as fallen arches. Many people know
that individuals can be born with flat feet, which means that the arch
in one or both feet simply never developed. However, flat feet can
also develop in adulthood due to many factors.
The development of flat feet in adulthood can be related to injuries,
illnesses, or even due to certain levels of stress to the foot over
periods of time. Sometimes, pregnant women can even develop flat feet,
due to their body developing more elasticity during the course of the
pregnancy. The development of flat feet during adulthood is very
rarely reversible. When the development of flat feet is identified
during childhood, while the foot is growing, it is, however, possible
to develop an arch through certain treatment methods.
Flat Feet in Children
Of course, in order to treat flat feet, you have to be able to identify
them. It is important to know that arches will not have formed in the
feet of infants, so you should not be worried if your baby appears to
have flat feet. In fact, you should not worry unless arches have not
appeared by the third year. It is important to remember that flat feet
is not life threatening condition, and that your child will develop
normally even with this condition. Should your child complain of pain
or begin to walk in an odd way, however, you should see a physician.
There could be something else wrong, including other foot problems or a
complication with the bones in the feet, and a physician will be able
to tell you if other treatments are warranted.
Flat Feet in Adults
Approximately Ľ of people living in the United States have some degree
of flat footedness in at least one of their feet. The large majority
of these individuals do not have any issues or suffer any problems due
to their flat feet. However, some people who develop a flat foot in
adulthood experience pain in their feet, legs, ankles, and knees due to
Adults who experience unexplained pain in these areas, particularly if
the pain is only experienced in one leg or foot, should check
themselves for signs of a falling arch. There are some easy tests that
can indicate a possible flat foot. One of the easiest things to do is
to step with a wet foot onto concrete. A normal footprint will be wide
at the toes, narrow in the middle, and widen again at the heel. A flat
foot will not have as much narrowing in the middle, and the middle of
the footprint will be at lease as wide as the back. You should also
check to see whether the prints of both feet are the same. If one is
wider than the other in the middle, then one arch may be falling. You
can also test your ability to stand on tip-toe on one foot. If you
cannot do this without pain, then you could have a flat foot.
If these quick home tests indicate that you might have a falling arch,
you should see a physician immediately. A flat foot is not a life
threatening or serious illness. However, there could be other issues
with the bones, tendons, and muscles in your feet. It is important to
have a physician rule out other causes of foot pain.
If you have developed flat feet, but the condition is painless, your
physician may not prescribe any treatment at all, or may just prescribe
a very conservative treatment. Such treatments include arch supports
and inserts and using ibuprofen for occasional pain relief. If pain in
the feet has been hampering your lifestyle, then your physician may
prescribe physical therapy, walking braces, and even surgery to help
relieve the pain caused by the condition.
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