Causes and Treatments for Flat Feet

‘Normal’ feet are feet not overly arched or overly flat. But Pes Planus or Flatfoot as the condition is commonly known, refers to a change in the shape of the foot because either it has no arch or the arch is flattened as the tissues holding the joints or tendons have become loose.

Flatfoot is normal in infants and toddlers as the arches of their feet have not fully developed, but by the time they become adults, most of them have arches. People can live their entire lives with flat feet but with time, the optimal alignment of the legs gets altered, causing problems in the ankles and knees. One of our most beautiful celebrities, Angelina Jolie suffers from flatfoot. With so much travel and a very busy schedule, she resorts to the use of orthotics to keep the pain at bay.


  • occurs when the tissues holding the joints or tendons in the foot become loose
  • abnormal childhood development of the foot arch
  • heredity
  • tarsal coalition – when two or more bones in the foot fuse together causing extremely painful flat feet
  • injuries to the tendons and aging
  • foot arches collapse due to weight gain in pregnancy, obesity or even arthritis

Symptoms:    Most flat feet do not cause pain, but over time, problems may develop:

  • pain in the foot, ankle and lower leg especially the middle of the foot
  • localized swelling
  • tired feet after long periods of playing sports or standing
  • lack of foot flexibility
  • the ‘too many toes’ sign. When even the big toe is visible if viewed from the back of the foot


In most instances of flatfoot there is no pain, and treatment is not required. However, if there is stiffness and pain due to flexible flat feet, the following measures can be adopted:

  • an arch-support or orthotic can be put in the shoe to ease the pain
  • special shoes can also be custom made
  • if the pain persists due to tarsal coalition, then consultation with a podiatrist is necessary

Here at Syracuse Podiatry in Fayetteville, NY, we are committed to improving the quality of life through the treatment of foot and ankle disorders. Our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, specializes in treating flatfoot as well as the associated symptoms. If you or someone you love suffers from flat feet, call our office at 315-446-3668 or contact us online to request an appointment.

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