Also known as pes planus. Arch is absent and the whole sole rests on ground.
What causes it?
Hereditary structural defects in the small bones of the feet. Everyone is born with flat feet; in some people suffering from pes planus, the ligaments are weak or do not develop properly to form an arch. Some people suffer from fallen arches where the ligaments weaken in adult life, often from rapid weight gain or neurological and muscular ailments such as neuropathy or polio.
Signs and Symptoms:
Over pronation, an abnormality in the normal gait cycle (mechanics of foot movement) since the arch collapses during impact activities such as walking, running, or standing. Callus and corns. Foot and heel pain caused often by plantar fasciitis:an inflammation of the fibrous band that runs along the bottom of the foot. In this case it results from being overly stressed due to elongation from the flat arch.
Prevention and Treatments:
Icing for ten minutes three times per day and/or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation during initial acute stage; heat therapy may be effective for chronic, longstanding cases.
Low dye strapping (taping) to help relieve stress on the plantar fascia.
Off-the-shelf arch supports for simple, non-severe problems.
Prescription custom orthotics to help correct structural foot problems causing the pain and other associated foot problems such as callus buildup and corns.
Regular routine foot care to address problems such as corn and callus removal.
Footwear that is properly suited to your foot type. What to look for in footwear at your local shoe store for your type foot:
Your Chiropodist can provide further footwear advice.
Possibly prescription custom footwear from your Chiropodist, depending on the severity of the structural foot problem.
Special padding to offload specific problem areas of the foot, as well as pads, shields, and splints to protect and cushion.
Your Chiropodist may recommend the following exercises:
Place a towel on the floor. Curl the towel toward you, using only the toes of your injured foot. Resistance can be increased by placing a weight on the end of the towel. Perform this exercise 20 times.
Lift all your toes off the floor and, while keeping your heel on the floor and the outside four toes in the air, tap just the big toe to the floor. Next you will change the order and tap the outside four toes to the floor a number of times while keeping the big toe in the air. Start with 10 taps and work up to 50 taps per session.
Lean against a wall with your back knee locked. Press forward until a stretch is felt in your calf muscle, but do not stretch to the point of pain. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat three times for each calf.
Achilles Stretch Lean against a wall. Gradually bend your back knee bent. until a stretch is felt in your Achilles tendon, but do not stretch to the point of pain. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat three times for each foot.