Picture a footprint. In your mind’s eye, you likely see the toes, ball of the foot, and heel, with a curved arch connecting the last two. If you’ve ever noticed that your own footprint doesn’t have that curve at the arch, but instead touches the ground in a straight line all the way from the mound of your big toe to your inner heel, you probably have flatfeet.
In some people, flatfoot never causes a problem. But left completely unchecked, your archless foot could expose you to a myriad of podiatric issues. That’s why William T. DeCarbo, DPM, FACFAS, offers flatfoot care here at Greater Pittsburgh Foot & Ankle Center in Wexford, Pennsylvania. At our office, Dr. DeCarbo can determine if you have flatfeet and, if so, if they’re likely to cause you problems down the road.
What kind of issues could your untreated flatfeet cause? Let’s take a look.
Your body relies on the arches of your feet. They stabilize your foot and help you to balance. They also serve as the shocks of your feet, providing the flexibility and impact absorption that helps you to run, jump, and more.
All told, when your feet lack arches, you can come up against a number of problems. Without these critical podiatric elements, other portions of your feet, ankles, and legs have to work harder. As a result, unchecked flatfoot can lead to complications over time.
Specifically, it’s common for people with archless feet to experience:
Similarly, because of the added strain of flatfoot, you’re more likely to develop osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that develops because of wear-and-tear on your joints. This can affect the joints in your feet or ankles.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until your flatfoot starts causing problems to correct it. Here at Greater Pittsburgh Foot & Ankle Center, Dr. DeCarbo can recommend the treatment your specific foot needs. That can range from physical therapy and shoe inserts to targeted medication to keep inflammation at bay.
Ultimately, if you suspect you might have flatfoot, you can do your future self a favor by visiting our office. Here, Dr. DeCarbo discusses your options with you. In some cases, you might simply need to monitor yourself for any symptoms that arise in the future. In others, making simple changes now — like integrating at-home stretches or adding orthotics to your shoes — can help you avoid flatfoot complications down the road.
To prevent the problems that can crop up with untreated flatfeet, call our office or book your appointment online today.