What Causes Flat Feet in Later Life

Maybe you’ve had this experience: You walk out to your car in the morning before work, or in the parking lot on your way home, and your heart sinks when you see one of your wheels flush with the ground. Of course, while unexpected flats are an especially unwelcome nuisance, even healthy tires can slowly deflate over time. Something similar can happen with your feet, specifically your arches.

Flat feet is most common in kids under 6 years old; at that age, bones and joints are soft and flexible enough that simply their own body weight is enough to flatten the arch all the way to the ground. Most grow out of it as their bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments strengthen and become more rigid. However, even adults who at one time formed healthy, medium arches can wind up with flat feet after injuries, illnesses, or just decades of wear and tear. When it happens, it’s called adult-acquired flatfoot, to distinguish it from the “pediatric” version.

Genetics are the primary culprit for those who simply never developed an arch when they were growing up. By contrast (and like our flat tire analogy), adult-acquired flatfoot may have one (or more) of several underlying causes—some preventable, some not. These may include:

Flat feet—especially when acquired later in life—can throw your whole body out of alignment, leading to problems with overpronation and foot, leg, knee, hip, and back pain. Fortunately, treatments—including arch supports, orthotics, physical therapy, stretching, and surgery—are available to those struggling with painful flatfeet. So don’t wait! Give Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle a call today. You can reach us in Pleasanton or Universal City, TX by dialing 855-972-9512.

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