Acquired flat foot

Most people’s feet have a gap where the inner part of the foot (the arch) is raised off the ground when they stand. The height of this arch varies.

Some people’s feet, however, have a low arch or no arch at all, which is referred to as flat feet or fallen arches.

When someone with flat feet stands, their inner foot or arch flattens, and the foot may roll over to the inner side (known as over-pronation). This is often apparent if the heels of shoes wear out quickly and unevenly. Over-pronation can damage your ankle joint and Achilles tendon (tendon at the back of your ankle).

The symptoms of flat feet vary depending on how severe the condition is but the following are common:

  • Pain /swelling behind medial malleolus (the ankle bone above the arch of your foot) and along the arch/instep of your foot
  • Change in foot shape
  • Decrease in walking and balance
  • Ache on walking long distances
  • Are you able to perform a one legged heel lift?
Dealing with Acquired flat foot

Getting the right footwear is extremely important for dealing with acquired flat foot. Key things you can do are:

Supportive shoes

Wearing supportive well-fitted shoes can relieve any aching caused by flat feet.

Insoles and orthotics

If you can do one or two heel lifts before it’s painful, then in the first instance an over-the-counter,  insole or orthotic (supportive device) can take pressure and pain away from the arch.

However, an orthotic only helps when it is worn in the shoe, and the benefits only last while you are actually wearing the device.

A flat foot caused by a ruptured tendon or arthritis can often be treated with painkillers and an insole.

Please note -
These are general exercises, seek advice if you are unsure.

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