Flat feet, also called fallen arches, are a common physical abnormality of the foot in which the entire sole of the foot touches the ground when standing; it's thought to affect 20 to 30 percent of the population. Many people with flat feet are asymptomatic, which means that they do not experience any difficulties with this condition. However, if your flat feet are causing pain or other problems, it's time to contact Dr. James Kent, your podiatrist in Tyler, TX at East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers.
Signs of flat feet
It may not be obvious that you have flat feet while you're sitting down. However, if you do not have a natural curve on the inside of your feet when you're standing, you likely have flat feet. This abnormality can occur in only one foot or both. Babies and young children's feet may look as though they're flat, but it takes time for the arches to develop and most do not retain the appearance of flatness.
Complications of flat feet
Many people naturally have flat feet their entire lives and function just fine. However, flat feet can develop as you age and may begin to cause pain from the changes in the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot. The lack of arches in your feet can affect how you stand and, in turn, may cause problems with your posture. You may experience discomfort not only in your feet but your legs and even your lower back. These symptoms warrant an evaluation from your Tyler podiatrist, especially if your flat feet are caused by an underlying medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or muscular dystrophy. Shoe inserts and physical therapy exercises can help compensate for fallen arches.
If you have flat feet and have been experiencing pain like we've described here, contact Dr. Kent for an appointment at East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX today!