A crucial element when it comes to maintaining foot health is understanding your foot shape. Individuals with flat feet can experience pain and discomfort, so it’s important to understand what you can do to help your mobility and feel better throughout the day! Below, Podiatry Center of New Jersey has created the ultimate flat foot guide so patients can better manage this condition.

Symptoms of Flat Feet

Flat feet are characterized by the absence or low arches in the inner soles of the feet. Some individuals may experience:

  • Pain or tenderness along the inner side of the ankle or arch area
  • Swelling along the inside of the ankle
  • Foot fatigue or cramping, especially after prolonged periods of standing or walking
  • Difficulty in finding shoes that fit comfortably
  • Overpronation (feet rolling inward excessively)

How Do I Know If I Have Flat Feet?

Simple at-home methods include:

  1. Wet Foot Test: Wet the sole of your foot, then step onto a surface that will leave a visible mark, such as a piece of paper or cardboard. If you see a complete footprint without a noticeable arch, you may have flat feet.
  2. Visual Inspection: Stand barefoot and look at the inner part of your feet while bearing weight. If your arches appear significantly flattened or if your ankles lean inward, it could indicate flat feet.

Effective Management Techniques

1. Supportive Footwear

Look for brands that offer good arch support, cushioning, and even specific designs for flat feet—custom orthotics are also recommended!

2. Stretching and Strengthening Exercises

Perform exercises that target the muscles and tendons in your feet and calves to improve stability and reduce strain.

3. Avoid Prolonged Standing or High-Impact Activities

Limit time spent standing on hard surfaces and avoid activities that place repetitive stress on your feet.

4. Consider Physical Therapy

A physical therapist can develop a personalized treatment plan to address specific issues related to flat feet, including muscle imbalances and gait abnormalities.

By better understanding what it means to have flat feet, you can support your foot health and maintain an active lifestyle. For more guidance and advice, the expert team at Podiatry Center of New Jersey is here to help you find solutions and relief so you can get the pep back in your step. Give us a call at (973) 925-4111 or make an appointment online.