Flat feet refer to a reduced height of the medial longitudinal arch. It is frequently associated with bulging of the bone below the ankle bone on the inside of the foot, outward tilting of the heel bone, and/or the toes pointing outward. Symptoms vary widely in flat feet. In children, growth pains, tired legs or inactivity may be a sign of flat feet. Cramping and fatigue are also frequent complaints in children and adults. Most of these complaints are going to be associated with the multitude of muscle/tendon imbalances and joint derangements present with flat feet. These muscle/tendon and joint derangements subsequently result in an increased frequency, earlier onset and severity of other foot problems, which may include arthritis, tendinitis, bunions, neuromas and hammertoes.
Conservative treatment for this condition may include anti-inflammatory medications, stretching exercises or custom supportive orthotics. Surgery designed to correct the alignment of the foot is reserved for severe deformities or when symptoms are not controlled by conservative measures.