By Poppie Human

“And I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walks a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

You know this song right? Who doesn’t! So are we doomed to walk forever by slapping the earth with the full brunt of the flippers at the end of our legs? Absolutely not.

Flat feet are commonly known as ‘dropped’ arches.  This can be something you were born with or something that develops over years of high impact sport like, running. Flat feet causes uneven distribution of the body weight. This may cause your shoes to wear down unevenly, especially on one side.  


The most common symptom of flat feet is pain in the feet.  This occurs due to the impact your abnormal foot shape has on your muscles and ligaments. The biomechanics of the rest of the body start at the feet. We often think our hip or knee pain is merely just “a sore hip” but actually that pain most likely has originated from the foot.

Other common symptoms are:

– Pain along the inside of the ankle, alongside with possible swelling

– Pain on the arch of the foot

– Plantar fasciitis

– Shin splints

– Medial knee pain

– Hip pain

– Lower back pain


– Genetic 

– Dynamic arch drop- this means that the person has visible arches when sitting, but in standing      the foot visibly drops to the floor. 

– Previous foot or ankle injuries.

– Arthritis

-Dysfunction or damage of the tibialis posterior muscle.

Flat feet can also develop into your adult years.  This is due to the added stresses put on the feet for example high impact sport and obesity.  This leads to weakening of the primary muscles that support the arch of the foot causing them to become inflamed or tear.  

Flat feet in Children:

It is normal for children or infants to appear to have flat feet as their arches are still developing.  Arches develop from birth throughout the toddler stage through to the age of 8-10 years of age.  If your child still presents with flat feet after the age of 8-10, it is worthwhile having a physiotherapist evaluate your child’s feet.


As a general rule if you are not experiencing symptoms caused by your flat feet, you do not require treatment.  Flat feet may however cause a range of symptoms as listed above and may need to be corrected for the symptoms to resolve. 

Treatment includes supportive, correct footwear, strengthening of the tibialis posterior muscle that supports the arch of the foot and treatment of the painful symptoms caused by your flat feet.

Remember to love and look after your feet, after all they are supporting us all one step at a time. Happy and supportive walking!

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