Fallen arches or pes planus is a condition that can be painful. This condition is also known as “flat feet”. There are two types of flat feet:
- Flexible pes planus shows that the foot is flat only when standing. When the foot is lifted off the ground an arch is demonstrated.
- Rigid pes planus shows that the foot is flat whether standing or if the foot is lifted, usually the foot bones are not properly aligned.
Most babies are born with flat feet and it isn’t until around 10 years of age that a normal arch develops.
Flexible pes planus may be an inherited condition – 15-25% of adults have this condition and may have loose ligaments and flexible joints elsewhere in their body. If there is no pain, no treatment is necessary. If there is pain or discomfort flexible arch supports may be used along with physical therapy.
Rigid pes planus could be congenital or caused by injury/trauma. This diagnosis would be confirmed by foot x-rays or an MRI. Treatment options may include surgery.
Fallen arches, regardless of the type and severity, can be treated to alleviate symptoms.