Flat feet, or pes planus, is a condition in which the arch of the foot collapses or was never raised, and the entire sole of the foot is, or is close to, making contact with the ground. It can be both hereditary and caused by aging, injury, illness, or constant stress.
You can test the “flatness” of your foot with a “wet footprint test”. Simply put your feet in water, then step onto a flat surface like cardboard or concrete. The print that your foot makes will indicate the arch of your foot – the more sole in the imprint, the flatter the foot.
Typically, flat feet are asymptomatic and are a natural condition of some people. However, some people have painful versions of this condition, such as rigid flatfoot (where the sole is always rigid), and tarsal coalition, where bones in the midfoot begin to join.
Bone disorders related to flat feet, such as tarsal coalition, are best treated in younger people, before the bone structure has solidified, and typically involve orthoses and physical therapy. If you are a Michigan resident that suspects you or a child has flat foot issues, it is best to have it looked at by a qualified podiatrist like Dr. Young to avoid future issues that are harder to treat.