Do the soles of your feet touch the floor when you aren’t wearing socks? If so, you probably have flatfeet. Flatfeet or “fallen arches” is a common condition that can lead to heel pain, arch pain, and other musculoskeletal problems. At Gentle Foot Care Clinic in Zephyrhills and Brandon, Florida, Jairo Cruz, DPM, regularly works with patients to diagnose and treat the source of their discomfort. To make your appointment, call the office nearest you or click the online booking tool today.
If you have flatfeet, then the arches on the inside of your feet make direct contact with the ground whenever you stand or walk. Usually, this doesn’t cause any problems. However, in some cases, flatfeet impact the alignment of your knees and ankles. If your legs aren’t properly aligned, you’re more likely to experience hip pain, knee pain, and lower back pain.
Many people with flatfeet don’t experience any symptoms. However, telltale signs of flatfeet include foot pain — particularly pain that affects your heels or arches. If you have flatfeet, you might also notice that the pain you experience gets worse when you play sports or participate in physical activity. If you have flatfeet, it’s also common to experience swelling along the inside of your ankle.
Flatfeet affects people of all ages. However, there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to suffer from flatfeet if you have diabetes.
To diagnose flatfeet, Dr. Cruz physically examines your feet, ankles, and toes. He also asks you to perform a series of in-office tests. For example, Dr. Cruz might ask you to stand on your tip-toes. He might also ask you to walk around the exam room to observe your gait. Finally, Dr. Cruz looks at the wear pattern on your shoes. If necessary, he might also order a series of X-rays to get a closer look at the bones and joints in your feet.
Dr. Cruz usually recommends conservative, alternative measures of care to relieve pain caused by flatfeet. Depending on the severity of your condition, this might include custom orthotics or arch supports, a series of at-home stretching exercises, physical therapy, or more supportive shoes. If your pain persists for more than a week or two or your symptoms get worse, Dr. Cruz might recommend a minimally invasive foot surgery.
Don’t let flatfeet prevent you from living an active, healthy lifestyle. Make an appointment at Gentle Foot Care today by calling the office nearest you or by clicking the online booking tool.