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Flat Feet Don’t Have to Run in the Family

What are flat feet? When you are standing in bare feet and looking at the inside of the foot, there should be a little upward curve of the foot that does not touch the floor. This curve is referred to as the arch. “Flat feet” is a descriptive term often used when soles of a person’s feet appear to have little or no arch. It is normal for children up to age two to have flat feet when standing or walking, but soon after that, the arch should develop. Flat feet sometimes persist from this early age; other times, a person who once had a typical arch will have their arches “collapse” and develop flat feet over time.

What causes flat feet? The arch of the foot is maintained by the tendons and ligaments that support the bones of the feet. When they are a properly taught and work together appropriately, they pull the bones of the foot into an arch when standing or walking, but when these tendons and ligaments are

What’s the big deal? Sometimes, flat feet aren’t a big deal at all! Other times, especially for active children and adults, this feature can lead to persistent heel and foot pain. Additionally, because foot position often affects ankle, knee, and hip position, other joints may experience pain as a result.

What can be done? For a long time, it was believed that not a lot could be done for flat feet, which is why parents who notice that their children also have flat feet still often accept it as a trait they have passed on to their child, and while it is true that it is likely the children of parents who have flat feet will also have such, neither parent nor child should have to suffer pain as a result. Your physical therapist can help provide you with stretching and strengthening program to help you functionally form an arch while doing the activities that you love as well as direct you toward appropriate bracing or shoe inserts if they deem it necessary. All of this combined will help alleviate the pain that you may have developed as a result of your lack of natural arch!

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