Flat feet - Podiatry - Biomechanics

If you’ve noticed your arches collapsing and your feet feeling strained, you may be dealing with flat feet. This common condition affects around 20-30% of the population and causes the foot to roll in when walking or even the entire sole of your foot can touch the ground when standing. While some individuals with flat feet may experience no discomfort, others face issues such as foot pain, fatigue and limited mobility. Our experienced podiatrists provide comprehensive flat foot care to help improve your foot biomechanics. 

What Causes Flat Feet?

Several factors can contribute to the development of flat feet:

Overpronation – This is when the foot rolls excessively inward when walking or running. Over time, this repetitive motion can stretch and strain the ligaments and tendons supporting the arch which can lead to pain

Ligament laxity – Some people are born with naturally loose or flexible ligaments. This makes the joints more unstable 

Obesity – Carrying excess weight puts increased pressure on the feet which can gradually flatten the arches over time.

Ageing – Tendons stretch out and muscles weaken as we get older, making flat feet more common in seniors.

Pregnancy – Hormonal changes and extra weight during pregnancy can lead to arch collapse.

Genetics – Having flat feet can run in families, indicating a hereditary predisposition.

Signs Your Feet Need Alignment

Flat feet develop when tendons stretch and joints move out of place, causing the arch to gradually fall.  Here are some tell-tale signs of flat feet:

  • Feet feeling tired easily or aching after long periods of standing or walking
  • Inner ankles feeling tender or sore
  • Uneven shoe wear, especially along the inner edges
  • Rolling ankles easily
  • Lower back, hip, or knee pain
  • Crooked gait or waddling walks

If you notice any of these symptoms, flat feet could be the culprit. Catching this condition early allows for simpler treatment plans and faster relief. Book an appointment with our podiatrists to get your feet evaluated.

A Holistic Approach to Flat Feet Treatment

At OnePointHealth, we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to flat foot treatment. Our podiatrists take the time to understand your lifestyle, challenges, and goals. We then develop customised treatment plans that realign your feet and restore comfort.

Rather than focusing on individual symptoms, we take a holistic view of your overall musculoskeletal health. Our treatments aim to improve your biomechanics from your feet upward through your ankles, knees, hips, and spine. This comprehensive approach ensures lasting results.

Expertise to Get You Back on Track

With advanced training and years of experience, our podiatrists have the expertise to improve your foot biomechanics. We utilise a range of treatments, selecting the modalities that are right for your individual needs:

Orthotics and Supportive Footwear

Custom-made orthotics and supportive shoes are often the first line of treatment for flat feet. Orthotics fit into your shoes and support the foot and arch, improving alignment throughout the foot and ankle. They help to guide the foot through gait to reduce pronation and potential overuse of surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. We’ll take 3D scans of your feet and have orthotics manufactured through our orthotics lab specifically for you. These devices provide stabilisation and cushioning as you go about your daily activities.

For some patients, over-the-counter arch supports provide adequate relief. Our podiatrists will recommend the right footwear and inserts tailored to your needs.

Joint Mobilisation

The joints in the foot and ankle can become restricted due to flat feet, leading to limited motion and pain. Our podiatrists use gentle hands-on joint mobilisation techniques to improve mobility. Specialised stretching and massage increase the joint’s range of motion so your foot can move fluidly.

We’ll also evaluate the joints higher up in the kinetic chain at the ankle, knee, and hip. Tightness or dysfunction in any of these areas can contribute to foot pain.. Mobilising joints throughout the lower body provides lasting relief.

Strengthening Exercises

Weak muscles play a major role in the development of flat feet. Our podiatrists will prescribe targeted exercises to strengthen your feet, ankles, and calves. These include toe curls, resistance band moves, and balance activities. Building this foundational strength provides dynamic arch support during movement.

We’ll also address weakened hips and core through exercises to improve stability. Our exercise programs aim to re-educate the intrinsic foot muscles and reinforce the kinetic chain. We provide printed guides and demonstrate proper form to help you integrate the exercises into your routine. We help to ease pain, improve mobility, and help you live actively.

Surgical Intervention

In severe cases or when conservative treatment methods are ineffective, surgical options may be considered. Surgical procedures aim to reconstruct or repair the affected tendons and bones, restoring the foot’s arch and function. This may involve tendon lengthening, repositioning bones, or fusing joints to provide stabilisation.

Our podiatrists will thoroughly evaluate if surgery is appropriate for your case. If required, we’ll refer you to trusted foot and ankle surgeons we partner with. Following surgery, we’ll provide customised rehabilitation to aid your recovery. While not suitable for all patients, surgery can offer lasting improvements in foot structure and mobility when other approaches have not been sufficient.

Start Your Flat Feet Treatment Journey

If flat feet are limiting your activity levels and quality of life, take the first step toward relief and reach out to OnePointHealth today. Our caring podiatrists make it convenient to get customised care through clinic locations across Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

We look forward to partnering with you on the path to happy, healthy feet! Book an appointment online or call us to schedule a thorough assessment.

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