A palmate is another name for a duck’s webbed foot, which consists of three webbed toes and one separate back toe. They use their flat, webbed feet to propel themselves through the water to escape predators. Some humans have the same-structured foot, with a flat bottom—no webbed toes, of course. However, whereas a duck’s flat feet are more useful—some people even eat them, and Dr. Seuss wrote a book called I Wish that I Had Duck Feet—a human’s flat feet can sometimes create painful problems.

Sink or Swim with this Common Problem

flat footThis condition, which causes a person to have no or very little arch, represents a common foot structure. A child’s arches don’t fully develop until they’re 10 years old. The lack of arch is normal for them. Some people never develop arches, which is most likely due to heredity. In some cases, people don’t experience problems at all. However, sometimes flat arches can be the result of something more serious.

Tarsal coalition happens when two bones in the foot fuse together while the child is inside the womb. Even though the condition is rare, it’s good to be aware of it. It’s common for infants and toddlers to have no arches, so you might not suspect it at first.  

Injuries to the tendons, muscles, and joints in the foot may cause someone who has arches to develop this condition. It might occur in one foot or both feet. Arthritis is one of the instances where someone can experience fallen arches.

Adult-acquired flat feet can happen over time as the tendons stretch. This undiagnosed problem usually occurs in women more than 40 years old.

Why Fallen Arches Might Hurt You

They can put extra pressure on your muscles and ligaments in your feet. When you take a step, the pressure is applied unevenly to the areas of your foot, causing it to roll too far inward. This is known as overpronation, and it may cause pain in the inside of your ankle, the arch, the outer part of your foot, your calf, knees, hips, and back. It can also damage joints in your ankle and the tendon at the back of your ankle, known as the Achilles tendon.

Painful Symptoms Signal Something’s Wrong

Most cases of this condition do not cause pain. However, you’ll know you need to see a podiatrist if your feet hurt even while wearing good shoes. If your shoes wear out often, it’s likely that you’re overpronating and will experience problems when if you don’t treat the problem. Also, if your feet feel like they’re flattening out and you’re experiencing weakness, numbness, and stiffness, please visit McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group.

Paddle to Safety with Help from Us

If your feet are giving you pain, we can create a custom-made arch support to slip inside your shoe. This will correct your movement and relieve the pain that’s coming from overpronation. We also might recommend some easy stretches you can do to keep your calf and Achilles tendon flexible. If your child doesn’t have pain from flat feet, they don’t need treatment. The only thing a child’s foot needs is a good shoe.

For more tips on how to keep your fallen arches from causing you pain, make an appointment with the McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group by calling (916) 961-3434. Our office in Carmichael, CA, serves the greater Sacramento area and can also be found on Facebook and Twitter!

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