Most people have a gap in between the inner side of the foot and the ground where they are standing which is referred to as an ‘arch’. Flat feet are a condition in which the foot has a low arch or no arch and can affect one foot or both feet. Children may have soft tissue in their feet which commonly means that we cannot see their arch.
You can often inherit the condition but in some cases arches just don’t develop.
The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the condition. Corns and hard skin may appear under the sole of the foot, footwear will tend to wear out quickly and the arch area may be tender. In severe cases calf, knee, hip and back pain may occur.
Supportive footwear that has a firm, low heel and fits the foot correctly should be worn with orthotics. Biomechanical support from orthotics can be prescribed to help the feet function more efficiently. The orthotics should provide support for both the longitudinal arch and medial rear foot posting to combat over pronation.
In some cases, surgery may be suggested if all other treatment options have been exhausted.