The Dangers of Flatfeet (And What To Do About It)

Jun 11, 2024
The Dangers of Flatfeet (And What To Do About It)
You can have flatfeet from birth or develop them later in life. Either way, this seemingly harmless issue can cause uncomfortable symptoms and put you at risk of other problems in the future. Do you have flatfeet? It’s best not to ignore them.

Flatfeet, also known as pes planus, may not seem like a huge problem. After all, it isn’t life-threatening to live without arches.

However, this part of the foot supports your body and distributes your weight equally across your feet and legs. It also puts the jaunty spring in your step, which helps absorb stress when standing, walking, or engaging in other activities.

When you have little or no arch, it can throw off the mechanics of your entire body. And, while you may not have obvious symptoms, it can cause significant problems.

Dr. Hai-En Peng can diagnose and treat flatfeet at Align Foot & Ankle Center. Don’t worry: the entire process is completely painless. 

In this blog, Dr. Peng explains the dangers of flatfeet and how he can help at his practice in Camarillo, California.

Why flatfeet cause problems

Flatfeet can occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they’re simply genetic. Other times, they develop because of other health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, weight challenges, pregnancy, or rheumatoid arthritis.

You can also end up with flatfeet because of other foot and ankle injuries like broken bones and Achilles tendon damage.

Regardless of the cause of your little or nonexistent arch, flatfeet can affect the way you walk, increasing your chances of pain and musculoskeletal problems.

Complications of flatfeet often include:

  • Shin splints
  • Bunions, corns, and calluses
  • Bone spurs
  • Pain in the knees, hips, or lower back
  • Arthritis

Flatfeet can also cause significant foot pain, especially in the arch or heel, that often worsens with activity.

Fortunately, Dr. Peng can help you avoid these problems and keep you on your feet and pain-free.

Diagnosing and treating flatfeet

The good news is that Dr. Peng can create a treatment strategy for flatfeet during a single office visit.

To start, he reviews your medical records, discusses your symptoms, and performs a podiatry exam to assess your feet, calves, and ankle muscles.

In some cases, Dr. Peng also requests diagnostic imaging like X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. However, this varies depending on your symptoms and whether he’s looking for an underlying health problem like tendonitis or arthritis.

Once Dr. Peng reaches a diagnosis, he outlines a personalized treatment plan.

Strategies for managing flatfeet typically include:

  • Rest and ice
  • Custom orthotics or braces
  • Proper footwear that offers optimal support
  • Physical therapy or stretching exercises
  • Sports medicine 
  • Healthy weight management
  • Anti-inflammatory medication

Less often, Dr. Peng recommends surgery to repair tendon or bone problems triggering your symptoms.

While flatfeet may not be life-threatening, it can impact your mobility and quality of life. But with Dr. Peng’s help, it doesn't have to.

Do you have flatfeet or foot pain? Contact Align Foot & Ankle Center to schedule a consultation with Dr. Peng and Camarillo, California, today.