What Kinds of Problems Can Flat Feet Cause?

What Kinds of Problems Can Flat Feet Cause?

A normal foot has an arch that keeps your entire foot from touching the ground. This arch provides support and cushioning to your legs, back, and feet. However, sometimes the arch is nonexistent, which is a condition called flatfoot. If you have this problem, it can lead to a number of other issues as well, including pain.

Our team at Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center helps you get the treatment you need when you have flat feet. Dr. David Deiboldt and his team provide expert podiatry services to patients, offering custom orthotics and other treatments when your flat feet are bothering you.

What causes flat feet?

It’s hard to believe, but we’re all actually born with flat feet. Almost every baby and toddler has flat feet until the arch in the foot develops. However, sometimes the arch just doesn’t form, causing flat feet to carry on into adulthood.

There are other factors that play into flat feet as well. For instance, if your achilles tendon is tight, it may also lead to flat feet. Muscle problems and bone deformities in your foot also lead to this condition. 

Sometimes, you have normal arches, but due to wear-and-tear over time, they fall and cause flat feet. This leads to a number of different symptoms, some of which include:

Some people never develop any symptoms related to flat feet. But if you do have symptoms, they range in severity and can be debilitating. If this is the case, you should seek treatment to help ease pain and prevent further problems.

Problems caused by untreated flat feet

Some people never develop symptoms or other issues related to their flat feet. However, in other cases, this condition leads to further problems in your feet and other areas of your body. Some of the problems caused by flat feet include:


When your entire foot hits the ground all day, every day, it may lead to arthritis. This condition is caused by wear-and-tear in the joints of your foot. It causes inflammation and pain around these joints.

Shin splints

Flat feet sometimes cause a condition known as shin splints. This problem happens from the constant pulling and tension on the muscles and tissues of your lower leg. This causes inflammation, and pain in your shins.

Bone spurs

A bone spur is a bump made of bone that forms near the joints in your foot. They’re typically the result of wear-and-tear on your feet from arthritis, which can happen with flat feet.


The excess pressure placed on your foot with flat feet often leads to bunions. These are bony protrusions on the outer part of your big toes that often lead to pain and difficulty wearing shoes.

Low back pain

The changes in the way you walk puts excess pressure on the muscles in your back and spine. This causes pain and discomfort, most often in your lower back. 

You may also experience pain in your hips or knees due to flat feet. This usually develops over time when your condition is left untreated.

How are flat feet treated?

If you’re having symptoms related to flat feet, it’s important that you’re evaluated by Dr. Deiboldt and our team. We help ease your pain and prevent any further complications from your condition.Treatment strategies vary depending on the severity of your flat feet, and can include the following:

Physical therapy

Physical therapy helps you to learn how to live with your flat feet. The therapist uses stretching and exercises to work the muscles in your feet. This allows them to stretch and be more flexible, which leads to less pain and discomfort.

Custom orthotics

Custom orthotics are specially designed inserts that are made specifically for your feet. Unlike over-the-counter shoe inserts, custom orthotics are designed for your personal foot impression. They help provide cushioning and support to your feet, decreasing pain and inflammation.


Stretching your feet on a regular basis helps prevent issues down the road. When you have flat feet, it puts excess stress on the muscles in your lower leg, leading to shin splints and knee pain. Stretching helps keep these muscles flexible, preventing these other problems from forming.

Wearing the correct shoes also helps to keep your flat feet comfortable. Our team helps you decide what type of shoes are appropriate for your flat feet and symptoms.

If your flat feet are causing you problems, don’t hesitate to call our office in Beltsville, Maryland at 301-804-1174, or book a consultation online today.

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