How Do Flat Feet Affect Your Overall Health?

Flat Feet

Your feet are the foundation of your entire body. Insufficient foot positioning and strength can affect the way you hold your body and can even lead to injury. One of the most common causes of foot pain and dislocation is a condition called flat feet, also known as sagging arches. Flat feet are a common condition that can affect your overall health by causing other problems, such as hip and knee pain when walking or running. So how do flat feet affect your overall health?

What Are Flat Feet

Flat feet are feet with sagging arches, low arches, or no arches at all. Basically, the bones and connective tissue of your midfoot are absent. This means your feet are flat on the ground.

If you have flat feet, you may be born with them, or they may develop gradually with age or obesity. You can tell if you have flat feet by getting your feet wet and stepping on cement. If you can see the footprint of your entire foot, your foot is flat.

Sometimes, people have flat feet and don’t know it because they don’t have any other health problems. Others may experience severe pain in the hip or knee but are not sure why. It could be related to their flat feet, which they don’t even realize until they see a podiatrist.

The Causes Of Flat Feet

cause of flat feet

Flat feet are one cause of foot and ankle pain. Sometimes it starts in childhood if your feet don’t develop properly. Young children often have flat feet, but they usually don’t grow out of it. Some people are more prone to flat feet due to genetics.

Others develop flat feet over time. Not everyone with flat feet will experience pain from this condition. The most common causes of flat feet in adults include:

  • Obesity, because the bones in your feet are harder to hold more weight
  • Age: Flat feet are most common in people over 40
  • High blood pressure reduces blood flow to the feet
  • previous foot injury, such as a stress fracture
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • Damage to the bones or tendons in the feet

Why Are Arches Important?

Arches are important because they help distribute weight evenly and help us walk. If your feet are flat, your feet may roll inward as you walk. You may notice that your shoes wear on one side of the heel, not the other. This is a sign that your foot needs some help before you start to have pain elsewhere or a running injury.

Any misalignment in our body can lead to injury or make other injuries worse. For example, flat feet can worsen arthritis, cysts, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis.

A bunion is a bony lump near the base of the big toe. A shin splint is a common term for front calf pain. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fibrous tissue on the bottom of the foot. All of this can be painful and weaken you.

How Do Flat Feet Affect Your Overall Health?

How Do Flat Feet Affect Your Overall Health

Many people with flat feet find that flat feet can affect many aspects of their overall health. You’re more likely to experience foot pain because a sagging arch or flat foot isn’t giving your foot the support it needs.

Plantar fasciitis is also more common in people with flat feet. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tendons in the foot are overstretched. This condition can cause foot pain, especially in the morning.

Flat feet tend to lead to another condition called hyper pronation, where the ankle rolls inward when you walk. This can lead to foot and ankle pain.

Because your feet are the foundation for supporting your entire body, flat feet, and excessive rotation can lead to spinal alignment problems. You may also notice problems with your hips, knees, and lower back.

Treatments For Flat Feet

Flat feet are not a condition that will go away completely. Whether you were born with flat feet or your arches sag with age, it’s not reversible. However, you can find ways to manage your pain and even prevent some pain.

The best treatments for flat feet help provide support lost from a dropped arch and strengthen your feet and ankles. Some of the treatments we recommend include:

  • Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Many of these medications are available over the counter, including Averil (ibuprofen) and Aleph (naproxen sodium).
  • Strengthening physical therapy for the feet and ankles
  • proper exercise and nutrition
  • wearing a brace or splint
  • Use orthotics in shoes. For people with flat feet, proper footwear is essential. Corrective implants can correct the position of your foot and, in turn, even correct your posture.

When To Seek Treatment For Flat Feet

If you have pain in your feet, or pain in your legs, hips, knees, or lower back, it’s best to see your doctor. He will discuss your health history and current issues, and perform a full foot exam to determine if your feet are the cause. He will also watch you walk and may order x-rays or other imaging tests of your feet to make sure they don’t have any broken bones or other abnormalities.

If you have flat feet and pain elsewhere in the lower middle of your body, it is recommended that you do stretching exercises, massage, physical therapy, and corrective supports for your shoes, which can be used as arch supports, or special shoes. There are also some exercises you can do at home. For example, you can roll a tennis ball or golf ball under your feet to improve flexibility and help reduce pain.


Flat feet are a common condition that can affect your overall health by causing other problems, such as hip and knee pain when walking or running. If you have flat feet, see a doctor as soon as possible, in fact, the sooner you get help, the less damage your feet will suffer.

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