Flat feet (valgus feet or pronating feet) are associated with a lowering of the foot arch and change in the position of the rear foot. This lowering of the arch and the associated change in heel position towards the outside alters the pressure points of the foot and renders it less efficient.
The causes vary and the consequences are just as numerous. In general no correction is needed but a podiatric consultation is always necessary when the condition is associated with pain.
The most common cause is ligament laxity. Other causes include:
- Genetic factors altering the scaphoide, talus or calcaneus bones of the foot.
- Trauma including old foot fractures.
- Any bone pathology including arthritis.
- Over aggressive surgical correction of a high arch foot.
- Diabetes causing a Charcot foot.
The signs and symptoms of flat feet include:
- A decrease of foot movement altering gait.
- Difficulty in finding comfortable shoes and those that are comfortable, deform and breakdown with ease.
- Pain in the feet, legs hips or back.
- Regularly tired feet preventing the desire to exercise.
- Repetitive sprains of the foot and ankle.