QUESTION: How do I know if I have flat feet?

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If you have flat feet, you are among 20-30% of the population.

The foot is an intricate structure containing 26 bones with thirty-three joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and multiple tendons that hold the structure together. Having flat feet can also be called fallen arches. The tendons attach at the heel and foot bones to form the arch. Several tendons in your foot and lower leg have to work together to form the arches in your feet. When the tendons do not pull together properly, there is little or no arch.

When the arch on the inside of your foot is flattened, it allows the entire sole of your foot to touch the floor when you stand up. A flatfoot can occur during childhood development, from an injury, from normal wear and tear of your feet, obesity, diabetes, aging and pregnancy.

Not sure? Here is an easy way to tell on your own if you might have fallen arches or flat feet. Get your feet wet then stand on a flat surface where your footprint will show. If you see complete imprints of the bottom of your feet on the surface, then you’re likely to have flat feet.

If you suspect you have a flatfoot, don’t ignore it. A trip to Dr. Holli Alster of Family Foot & Ankle Center of New Jersey can confirm it. According to Dr. Alster, “As a flat foot specialist, we must examine your feet before any treatment is recommended. Some of the available treatments include: limiting or changing your daily physical activity, foot wear changes, and the use of over the counter or custom orthotics, and in severe cases surgery. If you have a fallen arch it can lead to claw and hammer toe deformities, bunions, and even knee, hip and lower back problems. Have your children evaluated early if there is a family history of this condition.” You can call her with any questions or to make an appointment for screening.

Dr. Holli Alster
Family Foot & Ankle Center of Central Jersey
600 Bridge Plaza Drive, Manalapan, NJ | 732-851-1617