Do your feet hurt after you play a few games of tennis? Maybe they’re sore if your job requires you to be on your feet all day. Foot pain isn’t normal, so it needs to be investigated. You may have flat feet, which lead to problems with your lower back, knees, and/or hips.
Many infants and toddlers have flat feet, and sometimes the arch fails to develop as you grow into childhood and adulthood. If this describes your situation, your flat feet are hereditary.
If you’ve become flat-footed in adulthood, your arch has likely weakened over time from weakness in the tendons and ligaments. Age and sex likely play a role; the condition appears more frequently in women and those over 50 years old.
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for flat feet because the extra pounds place enormous pressure on your feet, which must then support that much more weight.
Following are five nonsurgical treatments for flat feet that can help reduce or eliminate your discomfort.
Do you love flip-flops? They may have been fine when you were a teenager, but if your feet are flat, it’s important to wear shoes that support your arches. It’s time to retire the flip-flops. Choose brands known for good construction. Many stylish summer sandals have excellent arch support.
Stores sell insoles, but they may not help you if you have flat feet. Custom orthotics are prescription insoles made specifically to correct the faulty biomechanics of your feet.
We take impressions of your feet and send them to a lab, which manufactures custom orthotics to the exact specifications needed for your feet.
When the orthotics arrive, we make sure they fit inside your shoes, trimming them if needed, and watch as you walk in them in the office to ensure they fit properly. Orthotics help many cases of flat feet.
If your flat feet hurt, it’s important to give them a rest if possible. If your work requires you to walk or stand, we can provide a note to your employer to see if temporary accommodations can be made.
If your flat feet are hereditary, you may have a shorter Achilles tendon. Your doctor provides instructions for specific stretches that you should do daily; some involve stretching the tendon.
Because your feet are flat, you likely have weak muscles and tendons as a result of the improper foot structure. We prescribe physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet, which helps relieve your pain.
You should continue the physical therapy exercises as a part of your regular strengthening routine when you work out.
Call Platte River Foot & Ankle Surgeons at one of our four convenient locations in Hastings, Gretna, Omaha, and Grand Island, Nebraska, today, or request an appointment through our online portal.