Why Are Flatfeet Problematic?

Why Are Flatfeet Problematic?

Our feet require a careful balance. If our arches are too high, they can experience excess stress throughout the day. But the opposite is true, too. Overly flat feet can be a problem.

Having flatfoot means your arches don’t curve up the way they should. That’s a problem because it can cause misalignment in your legs. Plus, since your arches act as shock absorbers, flatfeet can cause mobility problems and foot fatigue. 

The good news is that William T. DeCarbo, DPM, FACFAS, specializes in treating flatfoot. At Greater Pittsburgh Foot & Ankle Center in Wexford, Pennsylvania, he can help you determine if you have flatfeet. If he does diagnose you with flatfoot, he then works with you to create a treatment plan to protect your mobility throughout the years. 

Are flatfeet really that big of a deal? Let’s look more closely. 

Why flatfeet matter

You might not think it matters how much arch your foot has. But flatfoot can cause issues now and in the future.

In the present, flatfeet cause uncomfortable symptoms like:

  • Foot or leg fatigue
  • Ankle pain
  • Leg cramps
  • Toe drift, which causes your toes to point outward
  • Arch pain
  • Discomfort when you walk or run

If any of that sounds familiar, you might have flatfeet. While you need a medical expert to properly diagnose flatfoot, you can do a simple test at home to find out if you might have fallen arches. 

Get a sheet of paper or find a dry patch of concrete — anything that will show wetness. Dip your foot in water, then step on the dry area or paper. If you can see the outline of your sole all the way around your foot (i.e., if there isn’t a curved dry area where your arch is), you likely have flatfoot. 

Even if it isn’t causing you issues now, flatfoot can misalign your legs over time, causing lasting ankle and knee issues. 

Treating your flatfoot

Effectively resolving any discomfort your flatfeet are causing you and preventing future issues starts with identifying the reason why you have flatfoot. It could be genetic, or an injury or other health condition — like diabetes, arthritis, or obesity — could be to blame.

Dr. DeCarbo has the expertise needed to diagnose your flatfoot. From there, he tailors treatment to reduce any pain and protect your mobility. That might include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Custom orthotics/shoes
  • Stretches and exercises you can do at home 

To ensure your flatfoot doesn’t cause you pain in the present or worsening issues down the road, make an appointment with Dr. DeCarbo. Get started by calling our office or booking your appointment online today