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How to prevent flat feet

Discussion in 'Orthopedics' started by waleed, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. waleed

    waleed Moderator

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    What is a flat foot?
    'Flat feet' is the term used in describing the condition in which the arches of the inside of the feet disappears and appear flat. This will make the entire under surface of the feet to hug against the floor rather than leaving a gap in certain places as with a normal foot.

    How do the arches develop?
    The condition is normal in the infancy as there are fat deposits underneath the skin and the development of muscles, ligaments and bones has not taken place. With time, when the child starts to walk, usually the arches will start to appear within few years. But, it's possible that certain children would not develop these arches even at this time and would be suffering from congenital flat feet.

    What are the causes of flat feet?
    In adult life, there can be several causes which lead to the development of flat feet. Injuries, prolonged weight bearing on the feet, poor posture, infections and even pregnancy can result in losing of arches in the feet and most often the condition can remain throughout the life. It should also remember that flat feet is a common occurrence in the normal ageing process.

    What are the problems associated with flat feet?
    The condition although does not give rise to any major symptoms, will limit the childs or the adults ability to make efficient use of the feet. Thus, flat feet will distribute the weight inefficiently causing inability to bear weight for a long duration, proneness towards suffering from conditions such as plantar fascitis, joint pain, arthritis, tendonitis...etc.

    What are the options for prevention?
    In order to prevent this condition, several measures can be adopted and following are some of these measures.

    Allow children to walk bear feet on uneven surfaces, especially in the infancy, in order to stimulate the development of arches of the feet. Do not stand or be on weight bearing positions for a prolonged time as a routine. Wear an orthodontic device or walking boots in order to stimulate the development of arches by facilitating the proper weight distribution on the related bones, muscles and ligaments. Avoid excessive weight as obesity can increase the risk of a person in developing flat feet. Maintain adequate rest in order to allow time for the feet to recover after prolong weight bearing activities. Medical conditions such as diabetes will make the person at a increase risk of developing flat feet and thus needs to control the blood sugar levels adequately. Do exercises to make the muscles of the foot and the legs stronger and thus less prone to developing flat feet. Swimming and gymnastics seems to be useful tools in this event.

    In certain individuals, even if these measures are adopted the flat feet might remain to an extent and in such cases surgical correction many be needed in order to recover the arches of the foot.

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    Source 1:Medical Inspiration-For doctors and Medical students: How to prevent flat feet
    Source 2:Helium - Where Knowledge Rules


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