People who are flat footed have very low arches or possibly no arches at all. The arch is also called the instep, and it is the inside part of the bottom of your foot. It is normally raised off the ground when you are standing, while the rest of your foot is planted firmly on the ground. Having flat feet is also called having fallen arches, and when you have this condition, your entire foot is flat on the ground. This can make it harder to buy shoes that are comfortable, and you will want to know if you have flat feet. Continue reading to learn how to tell if you are flat footed.
Stand in Front of a Low Mirror
One way to determine if you have flat feet is to stand in front of a mirror that is low enough to show your feet. You can start by standing in front of a mirror and seeing if you feel the ground with your entire foot. Then, turn to the side to see if you can see the inside of your foot raised off the ground. The outside of your foot should be flat on the ground, but your arch is on the inside, and you should see some space.
Try to stand as naturally as possible with your weight evenly distributed across the bottom of your foot. Don’t press any part of your foot down, but let your feet fall where they will naturally. You should be able to tell if your feet have an arch or not.
Notice How Your Shoes Feel on Your Feet
If you have flat feet, your shoes might be uncomfortable. Most shoes are made for a foot with an arch. You might have foot pain in your arch, and you might feel as though you are unbalanced. You can also look at your shoes to determine whether they are wearing out unevenly.
If you have flat feet, you may need to buy orthotic inserts for your shoes. Some people have this condition naturally from birth, and it doesn’t prevent your feet from being flexible and able to balance. However, this condition can develop later in life due to the tendons that hold your arches in place suffering an injury. Whatever the case is, you can get treatment to make your feet more comfortable.
Make an Appointment with a Podiatrist
If you suspect that you have flat feet, you can always schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. It is important for several different reasons. If you have always had flat feet, you may just need some orthotics to make sure that your feet are comfortable in your shoes. However, flat feet can be caused by conditions that lead to falling arches, and you may need to determine if there is an underlying condition that is causing it.
You may have arthritis or an injury to a muscle, tendon, or joint that is leading to your fallen arches. There are more serious conditions such as those that impact your nervous system, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy. It is a good idea to have your podiatrist start the process to rule out any of these more serious health conditions.
If your flat feet are a result of your tendons stretching over time, you may not notice it as it is happening. One day, you might suddenly realize that it has happened. If you have any pain that is a result of your flat feet, you should see your doctor to rule out any conditions and obtain properly fitting supportive shoes. Having flat feet is something you can live a fully normal life with as long as you make sure that your feet are comfortable and not shifting your balance in a different direction. Try the methods above to determine if you have flat feet.