Both flat feet, and high-arched feet cause problems for patients; problems such as walking difficulties, painful feet and inability to continue every-day lifestyles comfortably.
Foot problems that can occur are on a spectrum of physiologic foot types, and each comes with its own associated musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. Flatfoot is often associated with tibialis posterior tendinopathy and bunions. High arch is associated commonly with calf tightness, peroneal pain and heel spurs.
Flatfoot concerns can be addressed from 10 months old. At 8 years old the foot is almost fully formed with the growth plates closing up and the bone structure setting in place. Prevention is key when flatfoot is a concern hence why consultation with a podiatrist should be sought before the bones set in place.
“Flatfoot” is an umbrella term covering many different foot types sharing the main characteristic of a collapsed midfoot. It is often a root cause of many foot-related complaints, such as bunions, metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis, tibialis posterior tenosynovitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, etc. Without proper treatment, flat foot dysfunction can have serious effects on the body which spread all the way up to the spine.
Having one foot significantly flatter than the other should be a cause for concern. This indicates that there is an imbalance between each side of the body possibly due to malalignment syndrome, leg length difference, scoliosis or lower extremity bone deformity etc.
It is important to see someone who is qualified and experienced to help you make the proper corrections. Podiatrists are specialists with diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the foot and ankle. Podiatrists use a combination of orthotic insoles and clinical treatment modalities to reduce pain and overload associated with the flatfoot condition. If the flatfoot is severe, surgical opinion may be sought from our foot and ankle orthopaedics.
When you visit a podiatrist for your foot problems, the first thing to do is to have an assessment of the mobility and functionality of your lower limbs. Once the nature and the severity of the issue has been established, a podiatrist can then work with to create a treatment plan to successfully correct the issue, whether that’s through foot orthotics for flat feet, rehabilitation for foot mal-alignment, or corrective foot surgery.
Untreated musculoskeletal dysfunction of the foot will always lead to recurring pain and injury, whether its in the foot, ankle, knee, hip or spine. Custom orthotics are designed for long-term health benefits for the feet, relieving lower limb pain.
Podiatrists can assess, design and fit customised foot insoles for the treatment of various foot types, helping patients lead a more comfortable life in Singapore and elevate their foot pains or concerns.
Author: Podiatrist Georgina CALLAGHAN-TAY