How Do I Know If I Have Flat Feet?

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Flat feet are a condition that causes the entire bottoms of the feet to touch the floor when standing. Nearly 60 million Americans have flat feet. Also known as pes planus or fallen arches, flat feet can cause chronic pain and stiffness, making it difficult to perform everyday activities. At Millennium Podiatry in New York City, NY, seasoned podiatrist Dr. Suzanne Levine specializes in treating flat feet and other conditions that impact the soles. To learn more about flat feet, how to identify this condition, and what treatments can help, continue reading.

What causes flat feet?

Flat feet typically develop in childhood due to a lack of arch growth. This is a normal phenomenon and variation in foot type. Fallen arches can also be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Advanced age
  • Weak arches
  • Foot injury
  • Arthritis or other medical conditions

Symptoms of flat feet?

The most notable signs and symptoms of flat feet include:

  • Pain in the feet or legs
  • Pain that worsens with activity
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Stress on the ankles, knees, and hip joints
  • Uneven distribution of body weight
  • Lower back pain
  • Posture issues

Other factors that may increase the risk of fallen arches include:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

Test yourself for flat feet

If you suspect you have flat feet but aren’t sure, the best way to identify this condition is to see a medical professional, like Dr. Levine. Our office in NYC offers full foot assessment and flexible hours to make it convenient for our clients to get the care they need. There is an initial test you can perform at home. Follow these steps:

  1. Wet your feet
  2. Stand on a flat surface that will show your footprints
  3. Lift your feet upward and step away carefully to not smudge the imprints
  4. Examine your prints. If you see a complete footprint of your feet – you may have flat feet.

Treatment for flat feet

While not everyone with flat feet needs treatment, individuals who are experiencing painful or debilitating symptoms may need medical intervention. At Millennium Podiatry in New York City, NY, we offer effective treatment options that can help ease your pain and improve foot function. Dr. Levine will first perform a physical exam of your feet. She might also order imaging tests depending on your unique condition. Once a diagnosis is confirmed, she will create a custom treatment plan that meets your needs. Common forms of treatment for flat feet include:

  • Custom insoles
  • Stretching exercises
  • Physical therapy

Dr. Levine also recommends buying supportive shoes that have great arch support to alleviate pain and joint pressure. She may also recommend that you avoid strenuous activities, like running, hiking, and long walks until your pain has improved.

Foot doctor NYC

If you believe flat feet are the cause of your foot issues, seek help. With effective care, foot pain and other uncomfortable symptoms can be managed. Reach out to Millennium Podiatry in New York City, NY to book an appointment with Dr. Suzanne Levine today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.