The term “Flat Feet” is a broad term used to describe feet with a low arch. Although this term has developed a bad reputation over the years, it may not be altogether warranted. Some people with flat feet may never develop any foot problems because this is simply the natural state of their foot structure. They are no more or less susceptible to injury than people with a neutral arch profile.
Issues can arise however when a person has a neutral or high arch profile when non-weight bearing, but a flat foot upon standing. The flattening of the arch usually occurs due to the heel and ankle rolling inwards during gait, this is called pronation.
Pronation is a natural and vital movement required during walking to assist in shock absorbtion. But when the foot pronates too far it causes excessive strain on several structures within the foot, potentially causing bunions, hammer toes, heel spurs, arch strain and neuromas. Excessive pronation can also cause pain within the ankles, shins, knees, hips and lower back.
It is the job of your podiatrist is to determine what is causing excessive pronation and to then select the most appropriate treatment plan to address it.