Flat Feet, What Are Those?


The first time I had ever heard about flat feet was in my 6th grade P.E. class. A fellow friend and I were talking about what type of shoes were good, and then he said, “It depends because I have fallen arches, or flat feet” When he said flat feet, I wasn’t sure if he was saying that his feet are completely flat, or if flat feet is just an expression, but to my surprise I found out that flat feet are a type of deformation in the posture of the foot.

According to medical news today the human foot has 33 joints, which hold 26 different bones together. It also has over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The purpose of the arches in your feet are to provide a spring to the step and distribute your weight to keep you standing up. Your arches also determine how you walk. A person with flat feet my walk with their feet pointing inwards or outwards like a duck. Along with how you walk and stand, flat feet can affect your knees and back with excruciating pain. Most flat feet are asymptomatic. Asymptomatic means they do not show symptoms and do not cause pain. Asymptomatic flat feet are no longer a service disqualification in the U.S. military, but symptomatic flat feet are cause for disqualification during the enlistment process.

Studies have shown children and adolescents with flat feet are a common occurrence. The human arch develops in infancy and early childhood as part of normal muscle, tendon, ligament and bone growth. Flat arches in children usually become high arches as the child progresses through adolescence and into adulthood. Children with flat feet are at a higher risk of developing knee, hip, and back pain. A recent randomized controlled trial found no evidence for the efficacy of treatment of flat feet in children either from expensive prescribed orthotics or less expensive over-the-counter orthotics, orthotics are a shoe insert which reverses the effects of fallen arches.

The pain from flat feet usually comes from activities that use your feet. Over time, simple movements like standing can become so painful that it’s impossible to ignore. This can affect how you walk, run, or any activities that require you to stand up. With the pain comes swelling along the inner ankle and arch of your foot. Your hip, knee, and lower back pains are also common as the lack of stability of your posture and can put stress on your feet. Flat feet are more common than you think, baltimore cbslocal says that 30% of all people in the world have flat feet, and 1 in 10 people have symptoms for it.

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