Flat Feet: Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Commonly known as flatfoot, flat feet is a condition whereby one or both feet have little or no arch. When you stand, the pads of the feet press against the earth. Typically, you cannot see an arch in the foot, although sometimes, the arch develops when you raise the foot.

All newborns have flat feet at birth. Arches often appear by age 6. About two out of 10 youngsters still have flat feet as adults. Some adults have arches that collapse. This disorder, fallen arches, is another word for the flatfoot.

Flat feet aren’t an issue for most individuals. However, there are specific remedies that can assist if flat feet create discomfort or other difficulties.

Types of Flat Feet

Flat feet can provide complications whether they continue beyond childhood or develop in maturity. The kinds of flatfoot include:

  • Flexible: Flexible flat feet are the most prevalent. You are able to see the arch in the feet when you aren’t standing. The arches vanish as you put weight on the feet. Flexible flatfoot comes on throughout childhood or the teen years. It affects both feet and gradually worsens as you age.
  • Rigid: Those with rigid flat feet has no arches when standing or sitting. This issue commonly arises throughout the adolescent years and grows worse with age. Your feet may feel sore. It might not be easy to bend the feet up or down or shift them side-to-side. Flatfoot may affect one foot or both.
  • Adult-acquired (fallen arch): With this condition, the foot’s arch abruptly descends or collapses. The falling arch causes the foot to turn outward, which can be uncomfortable. The condition may impact only one foot. The most prevalent cause is inflammation or a rupture in the leg tendon (posterior tibial tendon) which supports the arch.
  • Vertical talus: Some kids have a birth condition (congenital handicap) called vertical talus that prevents arches from developing. The talus bone in the ankle is in the wrong place. The bottom of the foot mimics the bottom of a rocking rocker.


It is common to have flat feet passed down through the genes. As a youngster matures, arches in the feet emerge. Some may have high arches, while others have low or practically missing arches, creating flat feet.

Some people get flat feet later in life. The disease sometimes runs in families. And some disorders enhance the chance of flat feet, including:

  • Achille’s tendon injuries.
  • Broken bones.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Down syndrome.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.


Many people with flat feet don’t suffer pain or other difficulties. But certain varieties of flatfoot can be uncomfortable. Symptoms may include:

  • Leg cramps.
  • Muscle discomfort (aching or weariness).
  • Pain in the ankle, arch, heel or outside of the foot.
  • Discomfort while walking or changes in your gait (how you walk) (how you walk).
  • Toe drift.


Many people with flat feet don’t have serious difficulties or need therapy. However, your healthcare professional may offer non-surgical treatments if you have foot pain, stiffness or other concerns. Rarely do patients require surgery to repair stiff flat feet or abnormalities with bones or tendons.

Treatments for flat feet include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), rest and ice to alleviate inflammation and discomfort.
  • Physical therapy helps stretch and strengthen tight tendons and muscles, increasing flexibility and mobility.
  • Supportive equipment including foot or leg braces, custom-made shoes, or foot orthotics.