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What are Flat Feet?



Flat feet, or pes planus, is a condition when one or both feet have little to no arch. Flat feet can usually be observed when standing on bare feet as the inner side of the feet will be very close to or touching the ground. Flat feet can generally be categorized into two types, flexible or fixed. Flexible flat feet mean that the arches of the foot only disappear when weight bearing, but not when non-weight bearing. Rigid flatfeet mean the arches disappear when weight bearing and non-weight bearing.


Flat feet are usually asymptomatic, and it is only considered clinically significant when there is a symptom attributed to the deformity. Symptoms of flat feet might include leg cramps, muscle pain or fatigue, foot pain, etc. Flat feet can also have a significant impact on the lower kinetic chain, for instance, the pronation of the feet can lead to internal rotation at the knee and hip.


Therapeutic options for flat feet generally include orthotics, activity modification, and foot exercises. A foot orthotic is a device that inserts into the shoes. Orthotics can help support the foot and accommodate any foot abnormalities which help improve foot function and alleviate foot pain.


At C.E.S., custom-made orthotics are available if the therapist thinks the patient might benefit from having a pair of orthotics for their lower limb problems.

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