Dealing with Flat Feet

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At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we find that many of our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients are surprised when they receive a diagnosis of flat feet from our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas. That’s because the symptoms don’t immediately point to a problem in the arch of your foot, which is the source of flat feet discomfort. Patients may experience:

  • Pain in the foot (particularly the middle of the foot or heel), ankle, lower leg, knees, hips or back
  • Localized swelling
  • Decrease in foot flexibility
  • Feelings of fatigue if feet or lower legs

What Causes Flat Feet?

There is a wide variety of possible causes of partial or total lack of an arch in your foot. These include:

  • Hereditary tendency
  • Failure in childhood for the arch to fully develop normally
  • Aging
  • Weight gain due to pregnancy or obesity
  • Injury or trauma
  • Medical conditions such as arthritis

Due to the many potential sources of flat feet, it’s essential that the foot doctor examines you and determines the cause and severity of the deformity. The podiatrist may also want to get an x-ray of your foot to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment Options

The treatment the foot doctor prescribes will depend on several factors, including your level of discomfort and the ultimate source of the condition. In some cases, wearing more supportive shoes and limiting activities that require you to stand or walk for extended periods may be enough. Additional treatment options include:

  • Icing the painful or swollen area
  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching exercises and physical therapy
  • Arch supports, foot braces or supportive tape
  • Custom orthotics

In some cases where the arch is collapsed or not present, the podiatrist may want to perform reconstructive surgery to correct this deformity. To have your foot evaluated and learn what options are best for you, contact our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.