How to Fix Flat Feet

Most of the time you don't have to fix flatfeet. Flatfeet are pretty common. But in some cases, flatfeet can lead to other problems and pain. That's when it's time to learn how to fix flatfeet.

Diagram of normal foot, flatfoot and hollow foot. Orthotics can help with severe flatfeet.Diagram of Deformation of the Foot







What are Problems Related to Flat Feet or Foot Arches?

In most cases, flat feet do not lead to issues in adults. But for some people, flat feet cause foot, leg, and low back pain, limiting their ability to stand, walk, run, or perform daily activities. 

Tight tendons can cause flat feet. Another is bony deformities in the foot from birth or injury. Obesity can contribute to flat feet deformity and issues. 

Flatfeet can contribute to Plantar Fasciitis when the lack of arch applies stress to the plantar fascia.

Can Flat Feet be Fixed?

Quick answer, wearing more supportive shoes can help. Shoes with good arch support will provide some relief for your foot, leg, or back symptoms. Try to find a 

  • comfortable walking or athletic shoe
  • substantial arch support
  • firm heel counter
  • flexible sole. 

Custom made orthotics can also help improve flat feet. Flexible flat feet (not completely rigid) are considered normal and do not require treatment. If there is pain associated with it and you spend lots of time standing or walking, consider a pair of custom-made shoe orthotics. Orthotics are semi-rigid shoe inserts that support your foot's arch and promote better biomechanics while standing, walking, and running. By providing cushioning and some shock absorption, orthotics will also help reduce the likelihood of problems developing in other joints such as your ankles, knees, hips, and lumbar spine.

custom foot orthotic to insert into a shoe to support a flexible flat footcustom foot orthotic

People that are overweight (especially obese) usually will have flat feet. Losing weight has big benefits with trying to help flat feet by taking the pressure off the bones, ligaments, and tendons of your feet and providing better blood flow to the area.

Medical Solutions to Fix Flat Feet

Physical therapy is common practice with regards to fixing pain from flat feet. If your flat feet have some flexibility and are caused primarily by weak or tight tendons/ligaments, then your doctor might prescribe physical therapy.

A physical therapist can show you specific stretches and strengthening exercises for your feet. Physical therapy is usually required 2-3 times per week for 4-8 weeks or as needed to obtain treatment/personal goals.

If you have tried everything above and your symptoms are still there, talking to your doctor about surgical options may be the next step. If your flat feet cause you lots of problems and alter your daily activity and quality of life, surgery may be required. Your doctor may use a CT scan, MRI, or diagnostic ultrasound to get a better idea of your foot's soft tissues.

To learn more about the treatment at JOI for Plantar Fasciitis, go to: https://www.joionline.net/library/show/plantar_fasciitis/

By: Matt Paulus, ATC

If you need orthotics, give the Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute Rehab a call at 904-858-7045, schedule online, or click the link below.



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