Your arches help your feet support the weight of your body. If your arches have gradually fallen, or you've inherited a foot condition that causes flat feet, foot pain may be a constant problem. Columbus, OH podiatrists Drs. Steventon Wagner and Lynette Mehl of University Foot Center discuss common symptoms of flat feet and share treatment options.
How can I tell if I have flat feet?
A quick glance at your footprints can reveal whether you have flat feet. The next time you're at the pool, take a look at the prints your wet feet make on the concrete. If you have a normal arch, the inner part of your foot will never touch the ground. In fact, your footprint should be curved and look a little like the letter "C." You'll be able to see the entire outline of your foot if you have flat feet. If you don't plan to visit a pool soon, step on a paper bag with wet feet to see your footprints.
What are the symptoms of flat feet?
Pain, a common symptom of flat feet, doesn't just affect your feet. Your entire body can become misaligned if your arches aren't supportive enough. Pain can occur in your ankles, knees, hips and back. Strong arches are necessary to stand on your toes. If standing on your toes is impossible, an arch problem may be to blame. The condition of your shoes provides important clues about the condition of your arches. If the inner portions of your heels are worn much more than the outer parts, you may have flat feet.
What can I do about flat feet?
Improving the position of your foot when you wear shoes can help you avoid pain. During a visit to our Columbus office, our podiatrist can prescribe orthotics, custom-designed shoe inserts that support your arch and improve your foot position. You may also want to consider buying orthopedic shoes that offer built-in arch support. The shoes are available in a variety of popular styles today.
Ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in controlling pain caused by flat feet. If your pain continues, you may benefit from a corticosteroid injection. Most people who have flat feet never require surgery, although it may be recommended in severe cases.
Relieve your foot pain with a visit to University Foot Center in Columbus, OH. Call podiatrists Drs. Wagner and Mehl at (614) 488-9478 to schedule your appointment.