Flat Feet Specialist

South County Foot & Ankle

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Lincoln, Providence, Scituate, Wakefield, Warwick, and Westerly, RI

Flat feet can be a condition you’ve had your whole life or acquire as an adult. In most cases, flat feet aren’t problematic, but if they cause pain or discomfort, the team of podiatrists at South County Foot & Ankle can help. Using both conservative measures or, less commonly, surgical correction, the specialists can alleviate the complications that stem from your flat feet. To learn more about dealing with flat feet, call their offices in Warwick, Wakefield, Westerly, Providence, Scituate, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, or use the convenient online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

Flat Feet Q&A

What causes flat feet?

Flat feet are perfectly normal in newborns and toddlers since arches don’t develop until children take to their feet and become mobile. If the arches never develop, leading to lifelong flat feet, there are rarely any problems as the body learns to compensate for the absence.

Where flat feet can become problematic is when they develop in adults, which is appropriately called adult-acquired flatfeet. This condition usually stems from a dysfunction in your posterior tibial tendon, which stretches from your calf muscle to the bones on the inside of your feet. A posterior tibial tendon weakened because of repeated stress or wear-and-tear can lead to the collapse of your arches.

Several risk factors make you more susceptible to developing adult-acquired flat feet, including:

  • Age
  • Carrying extra weight
  • Occupations that keep you on your feet
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Tight calf muscles

Included in this list of contributing factors for flat feet as an adult is arthritis, more specifically rheumatoid arthritis, which breaks down the joints in your feet, causing the collapse of your arches.

What are the possible complications of flat feet?

Most people with flat feet don’t experience any problems, but for some, the condition can lead to overpronation, which causes your ankles to roll inward. Flat feet can also cause swelling in your feet, along with pain in your knees, hips, and back. You may also encounter balance issues because of an even distribution of your body weight or develop bunions and hammertoes.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it’s a good idea to see one of the podiatrists at South County Foot & Ankle.

What methods do podiatrists use to diagnose and treat flat feet?

After examining your feet, your podiatrist at South County Foot & Ankle may request an X-ray to determine the extent of your collapsed arch. Once they have a better idea of your structural problem, your symptoms, and your goals, they design a treatment plan that may include one or more of the following:

  • A change in footwear
  • Orthotics
  • Stretching exercises and physical therapy
  • Activity modifications
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Icing 

If your flat feet continue to cause problems, your podiatrist may recommend a surgical solution in order to bring you much-needed relief and restore your function. 

To learn more about your options in remedying your flat feet, call South County Foot & Ankle or use the online scheduling feature to set up a consultation.