Fallen Arches / Flat Feet
Fallen arches / flat feet (also called pes planus) is the name given to the condition in which the arch of the foot collapses, with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near-complete contact with the ground. For most people with flat feet they will never develop problems or pain as a result of their condition. For some however, flat feet can cause quite significant pain and problems in the Achilles tendons, patellar tendons, hips and low back among others as well contributing to chronic muscle strains of the hamstrings and calves.
Some Causes of Fallen Arches:
In some individuals (an estimated 20 – 30% of the general population) the arch simply never develops in one foot (unilaterally) or both feet (bilaterally). As such, fallen arches can be a genetically inherited condition or a condition that one simply has as part of their anatomical make-up. This is known as a bio-mechanical dysfunction – the word meaning that the mechanics (i.e. workings) of your biology (your body) are not functioning to their optimum level and ability. Unsupported footwear and poor posture during physical activity can also lead to fallen arches / flat feet.
One of the best treatment methods to treat fallen arches / flat feet are through devices called orthotics. These are a pair of insoles that you wear in your footwear that are designed and customised to correct the problem areas of your feet. In the case of fallen arches / flat feet, the insoles will have a raised arch built into them so that your feet gain this arch support to align properly. In conjunction this these orthotic devices, fallen arches / flat feet can also be treated with physiotherapy treatment to help you get and feel better by targeting the pain that you are experiencing due to the condition.
What we can do for you:
At PhysioCare we specialise in the prescription and maintenance of orthotics. Our physiotherapists are very experienced in the area of bio-mechanics and can perform detailed investigations to determine how you move (kinematics) and the effect your feet are having on body. Our bio-mechanic specialists can take a lower limb mechanical assessment of you, provide a complete diagnostic of foot and lower limb function, and allow treatment or orthotics to be prescribed accurately. This comprises of a full foot and leg examination that includes stride study and gait analysis.