Flat feet or pes planus is a common foot condition in both children and adults.
It is characterized by an abnormally low or absent medial longitudinal arch,
especially when standing. There are many causes of flat feet. In many cases,
it is a result of subtalar joint over pronation in
the process of developmental
unwinding or as a result of aging, injury or overuse.
It should be noted that it’s normal for infants and toddlers to have low arches,
but they should be observed
for any abnormal in-toeing,
out-toeing, excessive limping,
etc. Kids who over pronate often complain of night cramps, shin splints or heel pain.
Flat feet with collapsed medial arch
What are the signs and symptoms?
• Lack of medial arch (flat feet)
• Pain on the inside of the ankle
and/or lower limb
• Fatigue, night cramps, foot
strain, tendonitis, shin splints,
metatarsalgia, heel pain, sciatica
• Lateral displacement of heel pad
• Development of
• In children, clumsiness when
walking or running
Before starting treatment,
a proper assessment by a chiropodist/podiatrist, family physician or orthopaedic
surgeon is required. Treatments,
if necessary, must be carefully managed to prevent substituting one deformity for another. Treatments might include activity
alteration, orthotics, serial
casting, splints, braces,
and altering sleeping or sitting habits (mostly in children).
It is important to address excessively flat feet, otherwise
the problem can cause digital contractures (claw and
hammertoes), bunions or knee,
hip and lower back problems.
To prevent damage or to slow
a progression of problems associated with flat feet, wear good shoes, don’t go barefoot and, if there is a family history, have children evaluated early.