What does being flat-footed mean, and how can it impact you?


Your feet support the weight of your whole body. If your feet are poorly aligned or have a weak foundation, your entire body can be affected, and you could be more prone to injuries. Foot pain and misalignment are commonly caused by having flat feet - also commonly known as fallen arches.


Think about it this way- there are 26 bones in your foot and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in total. Your foot starts to arch from the middle. The reason why most people have a spring to their step is because of the arches found at the feet. How the arches are built determines the way a person walks. The midfoot is extremely crucial as it supports your entire foot. If there was no arch, wouldn't your foot's support system be affected?


What Causes Flat Feet?

Many people with flat feet often complain about overwhelming ankle or foot pain. This can happen throughout your childhood if your feet have not developed appropriately. Even though flat feet are usually common in children, they tend to outgrow this condition over time. Genetics also play an important role when looking at flat feet.


Sometimes, people develop flat feet as they grow older. It must be kept in mind that having flat feet does not automatically mean that someone experiences pain. Flat feet during adulthood can be caused for a number of reasons, including:

  • Being overweight or obese as the bones in the feet have a hard time carrying the extra weight.
  • As you grow older- flat feet become common in individuals as they cross the age of 40.
  • Individuals who suffer from high blood pressure, as the feet receive less blood.
  • If the feet have been previously injured, for example, stress fractures.
  • Diabetes and high blood sugar
  • Arthritis
  • If the bones or tendons found in the feet have been damaged in any way.

How Can Flat Feet Impact You?

Flat feet can affect your lifestyle, causing more complaints of foot pain. This is because the fallen arches cannot provide proper support to the foot.


Plantar fasciitis is another common condition experienced among people who have flat feet. This happens when the tendons found in the foot become overstretched. This can lead to extreme foot pain, especially when getting out of bed in the morning.


Overpronation is also a condition that is seen in people with flat feet. This is when the ankles roll towards the inside when a person is walking. Once again, this can cause severe foot, as well as ankle pain.


Since feet support the whole weight of the body, flat feet can also lead to issues with spinal alignment. This may, in turn, lead to issues with the lower back, knees, as well as hips.


Flat feet within children are common and can disappear as the child grows older. However, in adults, there is no remedy to flat feet. Visit your podiatrist for some exercises that can help strengthen your feet, ankles, and spine.