Flat feet or flat foot disorder is a physiological problem wherein the arch of the foot has collapsed or there is no arch that is normally found in the human foot. Also known as fallen arches, the condition is painful and uncomfortable.

A normal human foot will have an arch that usually curves upward at the middle. The ligaments and the tendons in the lower leg help support the form of the arch and also stabilize it, during rest and during motion. The arch of the foot is partly responsible for support and helps people to maintain their natural body balance. If the arch falls or collapses, then there can be severe complications. In short, flat feet are painful and cause imbalance.

Flat Feet Causes

There are many causes of flat feet, many of them listed below:

  • The ligaments and tendons may weaken. That could lead to the collapse of the arch since there is limited or no support.
  • Flat foot can be an abnormality. It may exist since birth or develop during infancy.
  • Injuries during childhood or natural development and growth problems can also cause flat feet.
  • It is also possible that as a child grows up, the arch in the foot simply doesn’t form or develop fully.
  • In some cases, flat foot is hereditary.
  • In adults, flat feet would develop due to excessive stress on the foot.
  • Injuries, ankle sprains, problems in the heel, improper recovery from operations or surgeries and lack of timely treatment of muscular and skeletal problems in the lower leg are also common flat feet causes.

There are many facilitators of flat feet causes. Weakened muscles, aging related and obesity related health problems and especially those in the lower legs, prolonged walking, standing or sitting, wearing improper heels, wearing very uncomfortable shoes that do not offer arch support, broken bones and tissue damage in the feet can facilitate flat feet causes.

Symptoms of Flat Feet

The most common flat feet symptoms are

  • pain in the foot, ankle, heel, lower back and hips.
  • You would feel pain in the middle region of your foot.
  • You would find general walking and standing to be painful or uncomfortable.
  • You may not be able to run properly.
  • Prolonged exercise or even standing for a long time may be impossible.
  • You may find it difficult to exert pressure at the middle of the foot, where the arch is supposed to be.
  • You might experience postural problems.
  • Your hips and lower back may be more stressed than normal.
  • You may also have varying degrees of imbalance and stress at your hip flexor muscles.