Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

What Is Flat Feet (Pes Planus)? Fallen Arches - Flat Foot

Flat feet is a foot condition in which the arch is leveled with the foot’s entire sole. About 20% of the total population are hit with this condition. In some cases, it may only be either the right or the left foot which did not develop an arch. But it is also possible that both feet can be struck with this condition. Another term for flat feet is “fallen arches”. However, flat feet do not cause a person to decrease walking or running speed.

Flat feet actually occurs normally among children specifically during infancy. But it is expected that as they grow older, they will also begin to develop a foot arch. The reason behind flat feet among infants is that their inherent baby fat masks the arch for the time being. Also, that arch is still not fully developed during that time. That arch found on the foot area gets developed as humans use their feet for mobile purposes. Thus, the muscle and bone structure get developed and eventually form the arch. By a child’s sixth year, the arch is expected to become fully developed and obvious.

Since flat feet is normal and children would not be able to diagnose any abnormal development, it is highly advised that parents take note of this development with their children. Aside from inspecting it visually, parents should also take note of the way their child walks. Abnormal development resulting to permanent flat feet can be seen through walking through the feet’s edges. A child who tends to limp during long walks may be experiencing progressive pain from walking. They can describe the pain similar to that of being pricked by needles beneath their feet’s surface. Other pain complaints within the foot area can also be a symptom of flat feet. For children, it is still easy to treat such disorder since their bone and muscle structure is still flexible enough to shape along as they continue to age and develop.

Flat feet can also be acquired during adulthood. Even if you have developed an arch, external factors may cause you to adopt flat feet upon adulthood. The following reasons are considered as risk factors:

1. Injury
2. Disease
3. Excessive stress placed on either foot
4. Abnormal biomechanics
5. Pregnancy

If flat feet is acquired during adulthood, it remains so permanently. However, there is another kind of flat foot which can happen for adults and even adolescents. If the person who has flat feet can still have an arch when they dorsiflex, they have a case which is also known as flexible flat foot. Standing on tip toes and arching the toes while the rest of the foot remains laying flat on the floor are examples of dorsiflex action. But this does not guarantee that a permanent arch can be developed unless the foot continues to grow. Although muscle training can help develop and make things better for a flat footed person, this cannot increase the arch development because the human foot contains short sized muscles.

A flat feet expert is called a podiatrist. In diagnosing a person who is suspected to have flat feet, the “wet foot test” is used. In this, the patient is asked to wet his or his feet through the use of water and then the patient would need to stand next on a paper or even a cemented surface. The results would be based on the impressions left on the area. If there are no dry areas observed, this means that the patient positively has flat feet.

Treatments used for flat feet are usually for maintenance purposes and to help people walk properly. Unless they become too painful, they don’t need any medical care. Insoles are a popular choice of treatment or help for those who wanted to walk normally. This method helps by cupping the heels and creating an artificial arch. But sometimes, it may become uncomfortable for the wearer.


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