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Chicago, IL 60614
Serving Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Greater Chicagoland Communities
Low arched feet are often not painful. But the mechanical working of the foot is not balanced and this causes the development of problems later. Often the ball of the foot or the arch and heel will hurt if you are standing at for many hours. Sometimes the first symptoms are lower back pain, not very severe at first but nagging. Many will feel that their knees hurt especially on the inside of the joint. Because it is ideal for the line of weightbearing to go down the leg and through the foot, having flat feet or over pronated feet will cause development of callouses. These lesions of hardened skin are most noted under the big toe or in the middle of the ball of the foot. Sometimes they are not thick enough to remove but the hardness of the skin is uncomfortable and hurts. Later in life, untreated flat feet may become stiff and arthritic. They aren''t as flexible and this affects one''s gait. Shorter steps. Stiffness in the foot and ankle and worsening low back and knee symptoms.
Foot pain, ankle pain or lower leg pain, especially in children, may be a result of flat feet and should be evaluated.
Painful progressive flatfoot, otherwise known as Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis, is caused by inflammation. The tendon in the arch becomes inflamed, stretched or suffers a partial or total tear. If left untreated, this condition may lead to severe disability and chronic pain. Some people are prone to this condition if they have flatfeet or an abnormal attachment of the tendon to the bones in the midfoot.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, ice, physical therapy are recommended if there is swelling and acute symptoms. But so often flat feet cause slowly developing postural complaints as I mentioned above. Then supportive taping and bracing, or orthotic devices are the best ways of treating progressive flatfoot. Orthotics are custom made and won''t feel like rocks under your low arches. They are designed to rebalance your line of weightbearing, take the stress off ankles and knees and improve posture. They have been prescribed by podiatrists since biomechanics was first studied about thirty years ago. So they are time proven. The analogy of prescription eyeglasses versus drugstore readywear lenses is a perfect comparison. Studies have shown an advantage of custom prescription orthotics over store bought arch supports.
Surgical intervention involves repairing the torn. weakened or damaged tendon to restore normal function. In severe cases, surgery on the midfoot bones may be necessary to treat the associated flatfoot condition.