What are Flat Feet?
You have flatfeet when the arches on the inside of your feet are flattened, allowing the entire soles of your feet to touch the floor when you stand up.
Flat foot describes a lower foot arch. Flat feet can cause an excessive amount of pronation (rolling in of feet). This excessive inwards rolling(pronation) rotates the leg, knees, hips and lower back which attributes to increased pressure/wear on these areas and overuse of muscles.
Symptoms of Flat Feet
- Zero or minimal arch
- Leg, heel, knee, hip or lower back pain
- Shin splints
- Out toeing walking
- Excessive shoe wear on the inside of the sole
- Arch pain
- Heel pain
- Fatigue in feet, and legs
- Calf pain
Causes for Flat Feet
- Muscle weakness or tears
- Hyper mobility (loose joints)
- Leg length difference (flat one longer leg)
- Neurological disorders
- Calf Flexibility
When to see a podiatrist?
No treatment is necessary for flatfeet if they don’t cause pain. However, it’s always recommended to see a podiatrist to perform a gait analysis.
Treatments for Flat Feet
If your flatfeet are painful, your podiatrist might suggest:
- Custom orthotic. Custom orthotics are the best way to treat Flat feet / over pronation. The custom orthotics will help re-align the foot to put it into a better position.
- Gel Insoles. Over-the-counter arch supports may help relieve the pain caused by flatfeet.
- Stretching exercises. Some people with flatfeet also have a shortened Achilles tendon. Exercises to stretch this tendon may help.
- Supportive shoes. A structurally supportive shoe might be more comfortable than sandals or shoes with minimal support.
- Strength programme – to help your foot and legs deal with the increased forces
- Referral to neurologist – If it is related to a neurological issue
Is the treatment for Flat Feet covered by Private Health Insurance?
Call us to find out whether treatment for flat feet is covered by your private health care provider. There are a few things to consider with your private health fund such as your level of cover, your policy waiting periods, annual limits and fund rules. It is important to know what you are up for prior to your visits to avoid unwanted, expensive surprises.