Management of Flatfoot Deformities
We Provide Flat Feet Pain Treatment in Millsboro & Seaford, DE
Management of Flat Foot Deformities
Flat foot deformities can affect your posture and gait, eventually causing aches and pains elsewhere in the body. At Southern Delaware Foot & Ankle, our doctors and team have extensive experience identifying the symptoms of flat feet. We can quickly assess and identify foot pain and its causes and find the most effective method for treating flat feet in Millsboro and Seaford, DE. If you’re suffering from flat feet pain or any other condition affecting your foot or ankle, call today to schedule a consultation with our team.
What Is a Flat Foot & What Causes the Condition?
A flat foot doesn’t have a visible arch when the foot is flat on the ground. Arches in feet typically form during childhood, but some people never develop arches, or their arches collapse later in life. This causes pain, inflammation, and stiffness and can affect balance, posture, and gait. Flat feet can be genetic or develop later in life. Our team of doctors and medical staff can assess your feet, evaluate your symptoms, and determine if you suffer from flat feet. You may be at an increased risk of developing flat feet if you have:
● Achilles tendon tightness/contracture
● Broken bones
● Cerebral palsy
● Down syndrome
● Rheumatoid arthritis
Types of Flat Feet
There are four primary types of flat feet:
● Flexible – This is the most common type of flat feet. You can see foot arches when the foot is relaxed, but the arches disappear when standing or putting weight on the foot. Flexible flat feet typically develop during childhood or teenage years and get worse with age. As it progresses, the tendons and ligaments in the foot will stretch, tear, and become inflamed.
● Rigid – People with rigid flat feet have no arches when standing or sitting. This type of flat foot develops during the teenage years and worsens with age. It causes flat feet pain, trouble stretching or flexing the foot, and can affect one or both feet.
● Adult-Acquired – Adult-acquired flat feet are also called fallen arches. This condition develops with age when the foot’s arch progressively drops or collapses. This causes the foot to turn outward, leading to flat feet pain, inflammation, and stiffness. It may only affect one foot. It is typically caused by a tear or inflammation in the leg tendon supporting the arch.
● Vertical Talus – Vertical talus is a pediatric congenital deformity that prevents arches from forming. The talus bone in the ankle forms in the wrong position, causing the bottom of the foot to resemble the bottom of a rocking chair.
Symptoms of Flat Feet
You may not notice any symptoms of flat feet at all. Many people don’t experience any pain or discomfort, despite having flat feet or fallen arches. In some cases, you may experience these symptoms of flat feet:
● Leg cramps and muscle pains.
● Muscle fatigue.
● Pain in the arch, heel, ankle, or outside the foot.
● Pain when walking.
● Changes to your gait, balance, or posture.
● Toe drift.
Treating Flat Feet
Most podiatrists focus on treating flat feet by managing the symptoms and using orthotics to support the arches. Our methods for treating flat feet include:
● Orthotics and Bracing – Orthotics are custom-made insoles that offer arch support and cushioning for the foot and heel. Using orthotics in your shoes prevents the foot from moving too far outward and can reduce the risk of foot pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
● Physical Therapy – Physical therapy exercises will stretch and lengthen tight tendons and muscles, building strength so they better support the foot and its movement. Over time, these stretches will improve flexibility and mobility.
● Lifestyle and Activity Modification – Your podiatrist will recommend that you temporarily or permanently modify certain activities that cause or aggravate foot pain. They may also suggest alternative methods for completing activities so you're less likely to inflame your tendons and muscles.
● Medication – Your podiatrist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications to manage foot pain, stiffness, inflammation, and mobility issues. They may recommend anti-inflammatory painkillers like Aleve or Advil combined with rest and ice.
● Surgical Options - If your condition fails to improve with conservative treatment, surgical correction may be warranted.
When to Call a Podiatrist to Identify Foot Pain
If you experience foot pain that lasts longer than a few days or prevents you from walking, exercising, working, or completing normal daily activities, you should call a podiatrist. A podiatrist can identify foot pain, determine the underlying cause, and treat symptoms of flat feet using orthotics, lifestyle and activity modification, physical therapy, medication, and medical care.
Schedule a Consultation for Flat Feet Pain in Millsboro and Seaford, DE
Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation for flat feet pain in Millsboro or Seaford, DE. Our doctors and team have decades of experience diagnosing and treating foot and ankle pain using the safest, least invasive, and most effective treatment methods available. Our goal is to provide exceptional patient care along with education and pain management.