Do you easily get tired, achy feet, but you’re not sure why? If you’re otherwise healthy but often have pain in your feet, particularly in your heels and inner foot, you may have flat feet, otherwise known as fallen arches.
Other symptoms of flat feet or fallen arches might include pain in your legs and back, swelling in the bottom or sides of your feet, and pain if you stand on your tiptoes.
Fallen arches are characterized by very low arches or no arches at all. For some people, flat feet cause no pain, but for others, pain can be amplified just by walking.
Fallen arches/flat feet can be caused by stretched tendons, broken bones, nerve problems, and can even be associated with obesity, pregnancy, ageing and diabetes. Some people are born with flat feet.
You can do a quick test at home to see if you’ve got flat feet — first, take off your shoes and socks and get your feet wet. Then, stand on a large enough piece of paper to fit your full foot, a thin dark towel or dark floor, and carefully step off so you can see your whole footprint. If you can see only your toe prints, heel print, and a thin strip of the outside of your foot, you probably don’t have flat feet. But, if you’ve left behind a print of your entire foot, then it’s quite possible that you do, especially if your feet often hurt.
So what are the next “steps” you can take? Toronto foot care specialist, Chris Hastings, DPM, recommends visiting your podiatrist for treatment. Your podiatrist will assess your feet by looking at your stance, gait, and might even take X-rays of your feet. Once assessed, your DPM might give you specific foot stretches to do, recommend rest or icing procedures to reduce inflammation, prescribe pain relief medication, or even fit you with custom orthotics — all depending on the severity of your fallen arches. If pain is very severe, your podiatrist might even recommend surgical correction.
Contact our downtown Toronto foot clinic to have your feet assessed.