Flat Feet

What are flat feet, and how are they treated?

Flat feet are also known as flatfoot, pes planus, pronated foot, and fallen arches. You may have developed this condition in one or both feet. At times it’s passed down as a hereditary trait or it may have developed over time.

Flat feet are feet that have no arch. This means the entire sole of your foot touches, or nearly touches, the ground when standing. You may be able to see this when you walk on a surface like a concrete walkway with wet feet.

What Causes Flat Feet?

To understand how flat feet occur, you first need to understand how there comes to be an arch. 

Inside the foot, there are tendons or tight bands that connect the heel to the feet. With the proper tension, they form a normal arch. If they don’t pull sufficiently you will have little or no arch in your feet

It’s normal for babies and toddlers to have flat feet because it takes time for the tendons to tighten and form an arch.

If this tightening doesn’t occur fully as you grow, it can result in flat feet.

Some people develop flat feet because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • Damaged tendons through injuries
  • Diseases such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy
  • A hereditary trait 
  • Obesity 
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes mellitus

Adults can develop flat feet through injury, tight Achilles tendon, abnormal joint formation, continued stresses on the foot and its arch, or simply as they age.

In addition to that, if you’re highly athletic and physically active. You’re at a higher risk of sustaining foot and ankle injuries.

Diagnosing Flat Feet

If you think you may have flat feet, then you should seek treatment from the expert foot & ankle specialists at OrthoNeuro, Columbus, Ohio. They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and suggest the proper treatment.

This is very important because everyone has a different-sized arch. Some may have only a slight arch, while others are bigger.

It is possible to have flat feet and not experience pain or other problems.

However certain types of flat feet cause the following symptoms:

  • Lower leg cramps
  • Muscle pain in the foot or leg
  • Pain in the arch, ankle, heel, or outside of the foot
  • Pain when walking or changes in the way you walk
  • The front part of the foot and toes point outward

What Is the Best Treatment for Flat Feet?

You should seek flat feet treatment as soon as you have been diagnosed to prevent the symptoms from getting worse. There are many ways of treating flat feet.

The following treatments may be offered to you:

Physical Therapy

Stretching exercises may be done at home or even at work.

The following stretches strengthen, engage, and lengthen the muscles and tendons in your feet:

  • Heel stretches
  • Golf ball rolls
  • Arch lifts
  • Calf raises


Orthotic devices such as arch supports are another effective treatment for flat feet symptoms. They are available ready-made or you can have them custom-made for a better fit.

Stability shoes may also help, providing you with extra cushioning.


If the causes of flat feet are more severe, such as a torn or ruptured tendon then nonsurgical treatments may not work. In these cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

A healthier lifestyle will help you to avoid developing flat feet. Obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure are all contributing factors to developing the condition.

Pain Relief

Sometimes flat feet will cause unbearable pain. Pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or corticosteroids can help ease any pain you are feeling.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today!

If you suspect that you have flat feet, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Foot and Ankle Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Foot, Ankle, and Podiatry Specialists


““Very nice staff. They got me in and out quickly, had to get surgery, and they made sure that was all set up and aftercare was clear.“
Dena T.