Pes Planus, Flat Foot / Feet, Fallen Arches
What is Pes Planus, (Flat Foot / Feet, Fallen Arches)?
Pes Planus, often referred to as having a flat foot or flat feet, is a condition that can happen as we develop or as we age. Pes Planus can be asymptomatic or be painful, although it is usually asymptomatic until irritated.
Pes Planus (Flat feet, Fallen Arches) can be developmental or aquired
Flat feet are easily identifiable by looking at your foot while standing without a shoe; if you have Pes Planus there will be no arch to your foot causing your entire sole of the foot to touch the ground. The arch develops in children between the ages of 3-5, before then all of us have flat feet. Then as we age the tendons can stretch over time and the arch can become less pronounced and eventually disappear. Usually Pes Planus causes no issue until you change jobs, shoes, stand more, gain weight, or injure yourself.
What are the symptoms of Pes Planus (Flat Foot / Feet, Fallen Arches)?
Pes Planus, or Flat Foot / Feet, usually has no symptoms besides the entire sole of the foot touching the ground while standing; this condition is often called fallen arches due to the arches falling to the ground. If you have asymptomatic flat feet it is possible to acquire additional symptoms that you will notice such as pain that will manifest as aching in the foot and lower extremity. This discomfort can become worse with a new pair of shoes, new exercise routine, standing longer periods of time, weight gain, or injuring the foot. Other injuries such as shin splints are more likely to occur in people with flat feet.
Treatment of Pes Planus (Flat Foot / Feet, Fallen Arches)
If you think you may have Pes Planus, Flat Foot / Feet, and you are experiencing discomfort that will not resolve with shoe inserts to support your fallen arches, then you may want to see a foot specialist. Starting with rest, ice, compression, and elevation can help. Rest and over the counter NSAIDs are going to be the best first line of defense along with a proper fitting pair of shoes or a correct insert for fallen arch support. Light bracing may be needed and if a surgical intervention is needed Pes Planus responds very well to Flat Foot Reconstruction such as a Cotton Osteotomy.