What Does It Mean to Have Fallen Arches?Often the instep or the arch of the foot may simply fall or collapse to the point that it touches the surface an individual may stand on, this is known as fallen arches. There are two types of fallen arches; these are the flexible flatfeet and the painful flatfeet. With the flexible flatfeet, there is some arch left in the foot and this condition is usually painless, however, the painful flatfeet is very abnormal and often is indicative of foot problems such as foot deformities of the bones in the foot or of disease or injury.
Causative FactorsMany cases of fallen arches are just a part of the development of a normal individual. Other cases may be caused for a number of reasons such as:
• Increasing age.
• Onset of or progression of disease.
• Being overweight with a poor diet.
• Some type of deformity.
• Being pregnant.
Having fallen arches is accompanied by some sign and symptoms. The most obvious and common of these is that there is no arch when an individual stands.
Other signs of fallen arches are:
• Foot pain that ranges from mild to severe.
• Lower leg weakness and pain.
• Swelling to the inside area of the ankle along with pain.
• The wear of the shoes will be uneven.
A Look at Treatments and PreventionMany individuals suffering with fallen arches have no symptoms and therefore do not need any type of treatment. However, there are others that suffer with numerous and intolerable symptoms who may need various different treatments. Once these individuals have gotten the proper testing and evaluations along with an affirmative diagnosis, some of the following treatments may be recommended:
• First, home treatment is usually tried consisting of simple resting, exercising, loss of excess weight, and the utilization of proper footwear.
• In order to support the arches, shoe inserts are often beneficial along with wedges for the heels. Custom shoes may also be ordered depending upon the severity of the condition of the arch.
• Physical therapy to aid in stretching and lengthening the cord of the heel and tendons.
• Placement of a cast or brace to immobilize and give rest to the area.
• Corrective surgery as a last result.
Many times fallen arches are inherited. It is possible in some cases to prevent flatfeet. Children and even babies of a certain age should always wear the correct and proper fitting type of shoes. This helps to ensure the proper development of their feet and lessen their chances of developing issues with their feet later in life.
Any person who begins to experience pain or other intolerable signs and symptoms due to having fallen arches should schedule an evaluation with their doctor or podiatrist. There are many various routes of treatment that can be suggested and each person can help their doctor select the best path to healthy feet.