The Flat Feet & Fallen Arches FAQ

The Flat Feet & Fallen Arches FAQ
We’ve talked about flat feet before but since it’s such a common condition, there are so many questions out there on the internet. We thought we’d combine some of those questions and make it as easy as possible to get the answers you need about fallen arches or flat feet. 

Are Fallen Arches the same as flat feet?

Yes! Fallen arches are just another term for flat feet and both mean that the tendons in the foot do not pull tightly enough to create that arch that many have in the middle of the foot. 

What is a dropped arch?

It’s just another term for flat feet or fallen arches!

What are the symptoms of flat feet? 

Is it really that big of a deal if you don’t have an arch in your foot? For many, it’s not. Many who have flat feet experience no symptoms. But, since that arch helps provide a spring in our step, those who don’t have it don’t have anyway to absorb the impact of the earth against our feet when they walk, run, or stand. Our arches help our feet adapt to the types of surfaces we walk on. 
Many with flat feet experience:
  • Pain in the hips, knees, and lower back
  • Overpronation: A condition where your foot rolls in too far. This can lead to a number of problems in a number of areas
  • Easily tired or achy feet
  • Painful arches (or the area of the arch) or heels

Are fallen arches curable?

Flat feet are not curable but can be treated. But, keep in mind, you don’t need to treat them unless they cause pain. If they do cause pain, you can try:

Is plantar fasciitis the same as fallen arches?

No. But fallen arches can cause plantar fasciitis; the term refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue stretching from your heel to the bones in the middle of your foot. It serves as arch support as well as a shock-absorber in your foot. If this band is not pulling correctly it could lead to flat feet and then become inflames and painful which will result in plantar fasciitis. 

What Causes Fallen Arches or Flat Feet?

Everyone has fleet at birth. When we learn to walk and start experiencing a number of surfaces and terrains, our feet begin to adjust and form the natural arch that helps support us. But, some people don’t fully develop that arch or lose it later in life.
Flat feet are extremely common and can be caused by a wide variety of factors.  
  • Weak arches
  • Foot or ankle injury 
  • A nervous system or muscle disease 
You can develop flat feet later in life through obesity or diabetes, pregnancy, or simply from age. 

What shoes are bad for flat feet?

Those who have flat feet should avoid shoes with little to no arch support. 
Shoes like: 
  • Flip flops
  • High heels
  • Some flats 
  • Shoes with thin insoles or inserts
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