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How Flat Feet Affect Your Body and How a Podiatrist Can Help

We often take our feet for granted, these amazing structures that carry us throughout our lives. But what happens when the arches in our feet flatten out? Flat feet, also known as pes planus, are a common condition where the entire sole of the foot touches the ground when standing. While some people with flat feet experience no problems, others may encounter pain, discomfort, and even issues with other parts of their body.

How Flat Feet Affect Your Body

The arches in our feet act as shock absorbers, distributing weight evenly and helping us maintain proper balance. When these arches flatten, it can throw off our entire body’s alignment. This can lead to:

  • Lower back pain: Flat feet can cause the pelvis to tilt out of alignment, putting stress on the lower back muscles.
  • Knee pain: Misalignment caused by flat feet can affect how your knees track, leading to pain and discomfort.
  • Hip pain: Similar to knee pain, flat feet can contribute to improper hip biomechanics and pain.
  • Ankle pain: Flat feet can overstress the ligaments in the ankle, increasing the risk of sprains and other injuries.
  • Foot pain: Flat feet can cause various foot problems like plantar fasciitis, a condition causing inflammation in the arch of the foot.

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How to Prevent Your Flat Feet from Getting Worse

How a Podiatrist Can Help

A podiatrist is a doctor specializing in foot and ankle health. They can assess your flat feet and determine if they are causing any problems. Here’s how a podiatrist can help:

  • Diagnosis: A podiatrist will conduct a physical examination and may use imaging techniques like X-rays to assess the severity of your flat feet.
  • Treatment options: Depending on your situation, a podiatrist may recommend various treatments, such as:
    • Orthotics: These custom-made shoe inserts provide arch support and help improve alignment.
    • Stretching and strengthening exercises: Specific exercises can help improve flexibility and strengthen the muscles in your feet and legs.
    • Supportive footwear: Choosing shoes with good arch support can make a big difference. A podiatrist can recommend the right type for your needs.
    • Pain management: In some cases, pain medication or physical therapy may be recommended to manage discomfort.

Preventing Future Problems

If you have flat feet, there are things you can do to prevent future problems:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra stress on your feet.
  • Choose supportive shoes: Look for shoes with good arch support and a wide toe box.
  • Stretch regularly: Regularly stretching the muscles in your feet and ankles can improve flexibility and reduce pain.
  • Listen to your body: If you experience pain or discomfort, don’t ignore it. Consult a podiatrist for evaluation and treatment.


Flat feet may seem like a minor issue, but they can significantly impact your body’s health and well-being. If you suspect you have flat feet, a podiatrist can be your partner in maintaining optimal foot health and preventing future problems. Remember, taking care of your feet is an investment in your overall health and mobility for years to come!

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