Flat feet is described as loss of the inner longitudinal arch of the foot, bringing the midfoot closer to the ground.
About a quarter of the population has some degree of flat feet. Commonly referred to as flexible varieties. It is more common in children, with most developing a normal arch as they age. Genetic predisposition plays a key role, with children in families with flat feet having a high chance of developing it as well.
Flat feet can be congenital or acquired. Congenital is defined as developing during the first years of life. It can be due to instability and hypermobility of the structures that form the arches.
Acquired flat feet can be a consequence of diabetes, foot and ankle injuries, arthritic changes, etc.
Physiotherapy aims to increase the endurance and flexibility of the foot while reducing pain. This, in turn, will increase the patient's function, improving their motor skills and preventing potential complications, such as upper chain problems - knee pain, low back pain, etc.
The therapeutic plan includes apparatus procedures, manual work, strength exercises, proprioceptive exercises, etc. Proper footwear is analyzed and recommended. The application of anatomically tailored shoes is in many cases essential to the patient's progress. Emphasis is also placed on weight regulation in overweight patients.