The Impact of Flat Feet
Flat feet are a common condition of the foot structure. In infants and toddlers, prior to walking, the longitudinal arch is not developed, and flat feet are normal. Most feet are flexible and an arch appears when children begin standing on their toes. The arch continues to develop throughout childhood, and by adulthood most people have developed normal arches.
Flat feet are generally associated with pronation, a leaning inward of the ankle bones toward the center line. Shoes of children who pronate, when placed side by side, will lean toward each other (after they have been worn long enough for the foot position to remodel their shape).
Many people with flat feet do not experience pain or other problems. When pain in the foot, ankle, or lower leg does occur, especially in children, the feet should be evaluated.
Painful progressive flatfoot, otherwise known as tibialis posterior tendonitis or adult-acquired flatfoot, refers to inflammation of the tendon of the tibialis posterior. This condition arises when the tibialis posterior tendon becomes inflamed, microtorn, stretched, or torn. Left untreated, it may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. People are predisposed to tibialis posterior tendonitis if they are affected by a progressive functional talotarsal joint subluxation also known as collapsing feet, overpronating feet, flat feet or by an abnormal attachment of the affected tendon to the bones in the midfoot.
Treatment Options for Flat Feet
The conservative option for this severe and progressive condition is comprised with a specific design of orthotics to be worn in conjunction with ankle and foot braces like the Ritchie Brace. Once the collapsing feet are stabilized, a specific anti-pain and anti-inflammatory laser treatment program of 4 sessions is to be administered over a two-week period to promote faster and better tendon healing.