Dealing With Flat Feet? We Have 5 Solutions For You!

Flat feet can be a major medical issue that causes pain or difficulty while fitting shoes and/or limit your activities. Many people who have flat feet think that nothing can be done about the condition. Today, William F. Buffone, DPM of North Ford Podiatry and Three Village Podiatry is sharing what you need to know about flat feet and how to treat them.

Different Types of Flat Feet

  • There are different kinds of flat feet and various degrees of severity; they are separated into the two types - rigid and flexible. 

  • A rigid flat foot is unbendingly flat both with and without weight on the foot. They are far more common than flexible flat feet. A flexible flat foot is flat only when weight is placed on the foot.

Here are some ways to help your flat feet.

1. Stretching: A taut calf muscle is the most common cause of flat feet and typically results in arch collapse. Committing to a stretching program can lessen the flattening effect. Effective stretches include the runners stretch and the yoga position downward dog. 

2. Exercises that Strengthen the Arches: The foot has many muscles and they begin and end within the foot without spreading into other parts of the body. These are called intrinsic muscles, which are located on the bottom of the foot. Patients with flat feet typically have muscles that are poorly-developed, so a program designed to strengthen muscles in the foot can help provide support to the arch. Easy exercises include grabbing movements of the toes, such as picking up marbles with your toes.

3. Shoe Inserts: Arch insert supports, or orthotics can support or elevate the arch by aligning up the boney structures into the proper position.

4. Walking Barefoot: Most people believe that a flat foot requires support. When walking or training in bare feet, the muscles of the foot are more active, and they grow stronger. Stronger muscles in the foot may improve the steadiness of the foot.

5. Surgery: Surgery may be a possibility for flat feet that are not corrected with other measures. Surgery can be fairly simple or extremely complicated, depending on the patient's age, the severity of the condition and the symptoms.

Every flat foot is different, so it's important that they are not treated in a cookie-cutter manner. And while there is no cure for a flat foot, there are things you can do to make your feet feel more comfortable and correct their alignment.

If you would like more information regarding how to treat flat feet, schedule an appointment today with William F. Buffone, DPM by calling Three Village Podiatry at (631) 474-3338, North Ford Podiatry (Southold) at (631) 765-6777 or North Fork Podiatry (Riverhead) at (631) 419-7107.