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Difference between flat feet and fallen arches

Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

The arch in your foot is going to be one of the most important components of the foot. With a good arch, you will be able to walk around and have the right support that the feet need, no matter where you need to go.

You can also have arches that are too high or arches that are flat or fallen, which means there is less of an arch present. Flat feet and fallen arches, and even high arches, can be painful and may mess with the alignment and comfort of the rest of the body as well.

When something happens to the foot and its arches, you may find that it is harder to get some of the mobility that you desire. Custom orthotics can help with that, and offset any issues your arches may be causing you.

If you have flat feet, you may wonder whether there is a difference between flat feet and fallen arches. You will often hear these two terms when dealing with your arches, especially if your arch seems to disappear.

But what are the differences between flat feet and fallen arches when it comes to your feet?

Are Flat Feet and Fallen Arches the Same Thing?

Even though you may hear the terms in different ways, fallen arches are the same thing as flat feet. Both of these conditions mean that the tendons in your foot are not pulling tight enough to create the arch support that you need in the middle of the foot. This can make the feet look flat, rather than having that nice curve that you are supposed to have.

Many people will find that their arches will start to fall a bit as they get older. Constant use of the feet, standing on them all day, being active, and more can do some damage to the arches. Though many will have symptoms, it is possible to have fallen arches and not experience any symptoms or pain at all.

Depending on the reason for having fallen arches, you may need to look for some good treatment options as well. Some people find that doing different exercises on their feet will be the best option while others will pick out comfortable and supportive shoes. Insoles and custom orthotics can provide more support if you have a ton of pain with the fallen arches.

What are the Symptoms of Flat Feet?

Whether you call the condition flat feet or fallen arches, you may find many symptoms that come with it. Keep in mind that not everyone who has this condition will end up with symptoms and it is possible to live the majority of your life with the condition without having any symptoms at all.

However, if you do have some symptoms of flat feet, then you may notice that there is a lot of pain when you walk around and try to get stuff done during the day. Some of the most common symptoms you may notice with flat feet or fallen arches include:

  • Pain in the Tibialis Posterior Tendon: This is going to be a muscle that often fights to help maintain the arches in your foot. When the arches start to fall, it is going to fail and can become inflamed and sore. This could result in a condition known as Posterior Tendon Dysfunction.
  • Foot pain: You may start to notice a lot more pain in your feet, especially if you are walking or standing on them for a long time. Your foot bones, muscles, and ligaments are going to work harder to help maintain your posture and help you stand, which can make them sore and tired.
  • Plantar fasciitis: You may find that flat feet can increase your plantar fasciitis. This is because as the arch becomes longer and isn’t curved anymore, your plantar fascia is stretched out and can become inflamed.
  • Achilles Tendonitis: Because the foot can not absorb as much force when they are running, this can make the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles work harder than they should. This can be hard on the foot and cause some issues.

The good news is that the chances of your fallen arches getting severe and limiting your movement during the day are not likely. Usually taking care of your feet, wearing supportive footwear, and giving the feet time to rest can be the best solution.

What is the Best Treatment for Flat Feet?

There are a few treatments that you can choose when it comes to your flat feet. The first option you can consider is to pick out a pair of orthotics with good arch support. These orthotics provide support to the arches, control the foot, take some of the pressure off the painful areas, and improve the function of your foot at the same time.

Custom arch support is generally the best. This ensures that you get arch support at the right location and the right height. This makes sure that you don’t put the arch too high, which can cause pain and discomfort too, or too low, which will make them worthless.

Are There Other Treatments Available?

The second treatment to choose is to pick out the right footwear. The right shoes will be able to help provide more support and comfort to your feet, even when you have fallen arches. Many times the best shoes for this condition will have a higher arch that is built inside of them, which is there to prevent the foot from caving in on itself.

And the third treatment option will include foot exercises. Your foot has more than 20 muscles inside and there are even more that will start in the leg and travel down to the foot. Doing some general strength and conditioning can be a good place to start, but you can work with your podiatrist to find specific foot and leg exercises to help your feet.

When you come up with a treatment plan that will work with all three of these issues, you will find that your feet will get the protection they need and the fallen arches will not cause you pain or other conditions at the same time.

Taking Care of Your Feet

Many things can cause you to have fallen arches and lose out on some of that great arch support. But choosing a good pair of orthotics or insoles to add in some of that arch support can make a big difference and will protect your feet overall.

Working with your doctor will ensure that you get the orthotics that you need to help with that support. When you are dealing with flat feet, it can lead to symptoms that are painful and hard to manage.

Our team of professionals will be able to take a look at your feet and determine whether a pair of custom orthotics will be able to provide you with some of the relief that you need. Trust our team to work with you to provide the best treatment for your fallen arches.


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