There are two basic types of flat feet.
Some appear to have a normal arch structure non-weight bearing, the others remain flat whether weight bearing or not.
In this first type, the disappearance or lowering of the arch in the absence of any neuromuscular disease is indicative of a form of structural instability or compensation. The foot is the primary shock absorber for contact with the supporting surface and is vital in balance and stability. Any reduction in the ability to perform any of these tasks can lead to pain, injury, and reduced function.
Not all flat feet are painful however their reduced ability will place greater demands than necessary on other related joints and structures. The default diagnosis of “flat feet” from the general medical community for any form of foot pain is misleading and inaccurate. Likewise, the concept of creating an arch where there isn’t one to realign posture is flawed and possibly harmful.
Treatment is dependent on first identifying the existing foot structure and functional ability. Normally that will involve a physical exam both weight bearing and non-weight bearing. Video gait analysis is employed to determine how the individual structures function while walking.
With a clear understanding of the condition and treatment options presented, you will be able to choose the correct path for your lifestyle, needs, and goals.