Monday, 29 December 2014

All You Need To Know About Flat Feet

"The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering & a work of art."
                                                                                                           -Leonardo Da Vinci


The human foot consist of 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments & 19 muscles which work together to balance your whole body. No wonder this great artist has named it as a masterpiece 1/4 of all bones in the human body are in the feet. Standing in the kitchen for cooking, walking down to buy vegetables playing any short of sport or dancing are all the activities we can do because of our feet. Healthy feet are key for active lifestyle. Human feet are designed to walk on natural surface like soil & sand, but instead of that we are walking on hard surface like pavements, marbles. That's why incidence of foot problems. Out of all flat feet is most common & unnoticed problem. If is it not diagnosis at right age, it can lead to serious complications in future. I get many patients saying, " My physiotherapist told me, I have flat feet & my family doctor says I don't have flat feet, I don't know what exactly flat feet means...!"


Flat Feet
What is Flat Feet ?
We have small gap on the inner side of feet when we stand, when this gap is not there it's called as flat feet. Everybody is born with flat feet, as a child starts walking his/ her arch starts developing. First five years of age are crucial for the arch development.

Effect OF Flat Feet On Posture:
All joints in our body work together. As feet are base of our body it affects entire posture. Following image will give you clear idea about how flat feet can affect alignment of all proximal joints.

Effect of Flat Feet







Causes:
Knee Pain
  • Ligament laxity.
  • Muscle weakness/ Hypotonia of muscles.
  • Fracture/ trauma around ankle joint.
  • Family history.
  • Obesity.
Symptoms:
  • Tired achy legs.
  • Heel pain, Knee pain & back pain.
  • Recurrent ankle sprain (Poor Balance)
  • Early osteoarthritis of joints.
  • Corn & Calluses etc.




Treatment:

Custom made orthotics is the main line of treatment for flat feet. People always try to get some off
the shelf orthotics & course it doesn't help for their problem. Orthotics correction should be based on lots of variables like severity of flat feet, age, weight, lifestyle, alignment of proximal joints etc. Thus off the shelf things are not advisable. Podiatrist is a right person to prescribe the orthotics.

     Podiatry is a branch of medicine specialized in ankle & foot problems. Podiatrist doctor will do thorough assessment of your alignment, diagnose the problem & then provide a customized solution for the same.
After certain age flat feet is not correctable but orthotic intervention can prevent further damage.

Shoe Test


Good supportive shoe are recommended for flat feet. Criteria for supportive shoes is rigid sole & firm ankle control. One should not able to twist (Torsion Test) & or bend (Flexibility Test) easily. Usually spots shoes are best supportive shoes. For the person with flat feet anti-pronatory shoes are recommended.

Exercise:
To strengthen foot & ankle muscles & maintain ideal weight.

Case Study




                                                                                                                    by Dr. Sarika V. Jambhulkar
                                                                                                                Consultant Practicing Podiatry

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