| Suffering From Fallen Arches? Here’s What You Can Do
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Suffering From Fallen Arches? Here’s What You Can Do

Suffering From Fallen Arches? Here’s What You Can Do

We have all heard the terms before, “fallen arches” “flat feet.”  It is a very common condition in the United States that typically develops during adulthood and does not lead to any type of life-threatening risk.  However, fallen arches are very painful and can cause problems later on in life.  Fortunately, because it is such a common condition, there are various treatments to help those suffering from flat feet.

Most feet have an arch in the middle of the foot.  This arch is created by various tendons present in the foot and leg.  Fallen arches are caused when the tendons do not pull an appropriate amount, thus causing flat feet.  While flat feet can be common and normal in children, they are problematic in adults.  Most children who appear to have flat feet eventually develop arches in adulthood.  Flat feet in adulthood is typically caused by stretched tendons, broken or dislocated bones, rheumatoid arthritis, or nerve problems.  Obesity, diabetes, aging, and pregnancy can all contribute to fallen arches as well.

Flat feet are easy to diagnose.  Most people can tell whether or not they have flat feet simply by looking at them.  However, there are also other symptoms that signal a person may be suffering from flat feet.  You may notice your feet tire easily, they may feel painful or achy or a regular basis, your feet may tend to swell, moving your toes may be hard, and you may notice back and leg pain after standing and walking.  Many people who have flat feet are easily diagnosed by a physician and tend to have others in their family suffering from flat feet as well.

Treatment and relief can typically be achieved through conservative means.  Rest and ice can help minimize pain as can stretching after being on your feet for a long period.  Physical therapy, pain relief medications, orthotics, and steroid injections can also help those suffering from painful fallen arches.  However, if all these treatments have been tried and the pain is still unbearable, surgery may be recommended.  Surgery for fallen arches can include fusing foot or ankle bones together, removing bone spurs, adding tendons from other parts of the body to achieve the correct tension needed to form an arch, and grafting bone to the foot to help the arch appear more naturally.

Fallen arches are not a life-threatening emergency.  In fact, most people live normal lives and never even know they have flat feet.  However, there are some people who suffer pain due to fallen arches.  While often, this pain can be relieved by conservative measures; occasionally, surgery is necessary.  Surgery should be avoided for as long as possible because it does come with risks and is not guaranteed to fix the pain.  However, various bone and tendon fusions and grafts may help patients to reduce the pain they feel from having flat feet.  Each person’s case is different, so if you think you may be suffering from flat feet, be sure to visit your podiatrist as soon as possible.

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