Experts estimate that about 30% of Americans have flat feet. While this condition is commonly painless, without proper treatment, it can cause problems in other parts of the body because it alters the alignment of your legs. At Foot & Ankle Associates of Southern NH, Drew Taft, DPM, offers conservative treatment for flat feet, including custom orthotics and supportive footwear. To schedule an appointment at the Derry, New Hampshire, office, book a consultation online, or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.
Flat feet occur when you don’t have any arches. This means the soles of your feet make direct contact with the ground whenever you stand up.
In the majority of cases, flat feet cause no pain or discomfort. However, the condition increases your risk of back, ankle, and leg problems because of the way it affects your posture.
Some people have flat feet as children while others develop the condition due to trauma or general wear-and-tear.
Early on, flat feet present very few obvious symptoms. As the condition gets worse, you might experience pain in the heels or arches of your feet. Additionally, some people experience swelling along the inside of the ankle, making it difficult to walk or exercise.
If you regularly experience foot pain and you can’t pinpoint the underlying cause, don’t wait to meet with Dr. Taft at Foot & Ankle Associates of Southern NH.
Anyone can experience flat feet, but several factors can increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to experience flat feet if you have diabetes.
To diagnose flat feet, Dr. Taft reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, and physically examines your feet. He also has you stand up and walk around the exam room, stand on your tiptoes, and observes the wear pattern on your shoes.
Flat feet are usually visible to the naked eye, but if your pain is persistent, Dr. Taft might recommend digital X-rays. X-rays provide detailed images of the bones and joints in your feet, which help in detecting arthritis and other structural abnormalities.
If your flat feet don’t cause pain, Dr. Taft might recommend a watchful waiting approach.
If you do experience pain, Dr. Taft typically recommends conservative measures of care like wearing custom orthotics, changing into more supportive shoes, or taking over-the-counter pain medication. When combined with physical therapy and at-home stretching exercises, you’ll likely notice significant relief.
If your flat feet occur due to a torn tendon or ruptured ligament, Dr. Taft might recommend surgery. Surgery for flat feet is minimally invasive and performed in-office as an outpatient procedure.
To learn more about treatment for flat feet, schedule an appointment at Foot & Ankle Associates of Southern NH. Call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.