Flat feet – why legs hurt and how to deal with it

Flat feet for the disease, then no one believes. If the surgeon at the physical examination says: “You have flat feet”, then 90% of people immediately forget about it – just think, the leg is flat, like a fins seal. So what? This is not cholecystitis and not a stomach ulcer, what kind of trouble can this be? And pains in the legs, arthritis, and osteochondrosis, which appeared from nowhere, will be associated with anything, but not with the verdict of the surgeon. Now let’s talk about flat feet. The best walking shoes for overpronation and flat feet will save your feet!


To some extent, flat feet are our reckoning for the achievements of civilization and, in general, for the idea of ​​becoming an erect creature. Standing on two legs, the man changed the balance of forces acting on the arch of the foot. Because of this, this place has become one of the weakest links in our body. And if by nature the ligamentous apparatus is weak, then the risk of developing flat feet increases. Of course, not everyone will have it. And for those who are genetically predisposed to this, for whom ligament weakness is inherited.

Further. We walk on surfaces to which nature did not fit us, which is why we endlessly injure our legs. Any horse breeder will say that it’s harmful to horses to ride on asphalt – this damages their ligaments and deforms them. But it is no less harmful to walk on asphalt and people – our skeletal ligamentous apparatus was developed under the ground and grass. And if you walk along the asphalt paths in heels and even wear an extra 10-20 kg in the form of social accumulations, then the development of flat feet is a matter of the near future.

So, flat feet can be congenital and acquired. Congenital flatfoot affects those who have weak ligaments and connective tissues in the genus, as well as those who have abnormalities of intrauterine development. Congenital flatfoot manifests itself in early childhood. Acquired flat feet develop due to improper handling of the legs. Wearing the wrong, deforming shoes, walking on high heels or, conversely, in shoes with a flat sole contributes to the development of deformation of the foot. But, according to a number of researchers, even acquired flatfoot mainly affects those who have congenital connective tissue deficiency. Just negative factors, in this case, lead to the disease faster.

As a result, a healthy foot is found in only 50% of people. And the majority of those suffering from flat feet are women whose ligamentous and muscular apparatus is weaker than that of men. In addition, it is they who are more susceptible to strong stress on the feet as a result of pregnancy, following the fashion and the characteristics of the anatomy.

Other reasons leading to flat feet:

  • overweight;
  • professional activity – work associated with prolonged standing. At-risk are teachers, sellers, hairdressers, machine workers, surgeons;
  • pregnancy.


The period of intensive growth falls on 3, 6 months, 1, 3 and 5 years. These are the milestones of the greatest risk of developing flat feet because at this time the differentiation of the shape and structure of the bones and the increase in the load on them simultaneously occur. The muscles are still weak, the bones are fragile, connected by more tensile ligaments than in adults. All this together is the reason for large fluctuations in the height of the longitudinal arch of the foot under load. Therefore, as soon as the child begins to lean on his feet and learn to walk, the risk of developing flat feet increases.

The development of flat feet can provoke dysfunction of the central nervous system, endocrine disorders, infections of the first year of life, and a genetic predisposition. We wrote how to avoid colds and other diseases – now we’ll talk about how to avoid flat feet. Normally, the foot has a curved spherical shape. Powerful muscles and ligaments form 3 arches of the foot – one transverse, internal and external longitudinal. These arches are designed to dampen vibrations of the foot and, accordingly, the transmission of concussions to the spine and joints of the legs. This protects the joints from overload, deformation, and destruction. The foot acts as a shock absorber. Violation of the shape of the foot leads to the fact that its shock-absorbing properties begin to tend to zero.

Normally, in a standing position, a person relies mainly on the calcaneus, or rather on the inner tubercle of the calcaneus, and body weight is projected onto the middle section of the heel. In violation of muscle balance and muscle weakness due to increased load, deformation increases and flat-valgus flatfoot develops.


Few people know that the consequences of the considered harmless flat feet are catastrophic. These diseases will be considered diseases of old age, the consequences of infections, improper lifestyles, and malnutrition. Meanwhile, the reason for their appearance and the trigger is flat feet, or rather, the failure of the foot to fulfill its shock-absorbing functions.

The complex of anatomical and functional disorders in the foot is the cause of the pathology of the musculoskeletal system and vital internal organs and systems because all of them are ultimately associated with spinal health. And the spine, in this case, is severely affected by endless microblogs during each step.

Few people notice the initial symptoms. Pain in the legs, burning sensation in the feet, fatigue is attributed to normal tiredness from long-standing or walking. Appearing at this time, pain in the ankle joint and lower leg should alert and force to closely engage in the treatment and prevention of flat feet.

Still disturbing signs of flat feet and its consequences:

  • the appearance of corns and corns;
  • heel spurs;
  • diabetic foot;
  • deformation of the fingers and forefoot;
  • the appearance of the so-called bones.

With the development of flat feet, the load is assumed by the knee joints, which begin to play the role of a shock absorber that is unusual for them. In joints exposed to a daily starting load, changes occur that sooner or later lead to the development of arthrosis. There are also signs of arthrosis of the hip joints – coxarthrosis.

Then, the spine is attached to the process, which is constantly experiencing microblogs. The first alarming signs are pain and back fatigue, back muscle fatigue and cramping – all kinds of hardening, painful sensations.

Further serious diseases develop – osteochondrosis, hernias of the intervertebral discs, sciatica, curvature of the spine – scoliosis, and kyphosis. Wheels, constantly damping when walking, begin to thin out. As a result, a person becomes shorter. But this is not the most important minus. Thinning of the discs leads to a gradual deformation of the vertebrae, hernias, pinching of the nerves. And these are already serious diseases with painful manifestations.

In children, flat feet very quickly leads to curvature of the spine and the development of scoliosis. By the type of flat feet, you can even determine the type of curvature of the spine that threatens the child in the future if there is no adequate treatment.


During pregnancy, a woman’s weight in a short time increases by about 10-20 kg. The ligaments and muscles of the foot do not have time to adapt to the changed weight, and the foot may begin to deform. The center of gravity at this time changes and shifts forward. It also causes a redistribution of the load on the legs and an increase in pressure in the feet. The foot is flattened underweight, and flat feet develop.

You can get rid of excessive pronation (flattening of the foot) using orthopedic insoles. Also, as preventive products, correctly selected low-heeled shoes, regular walking, gymnastics, and a diet with a salt restriction are used.


The doctor can detect flat feet in the baby in the very early stages when the child is just learning to walk. It is known that the foot is formed up to the age of 5 years. Therefore, the sooner flat feet are diagnosed and treatment is started, the more chances there are to prevent the development of the process. After reaching 5 years of age, it is difficult to completely treat flatfoot, in some cases it is already impossible. However, with the help of special treatment, gymnastics and the wearing of orthopedic insoles – arch supports, it is possible to stop the development of flat feet and prevent the deformation of the spine.

It is possible to suspect the presence of flat feet in a small child if he does not want to walk for a long time himself, often asks for pens, complaining that his legs are tired. Signs of developing flat feet in children are uneven tibia, improper placement of the heels.

The main preventive measure is the proper care of a child up to a year. It is important to do a firming foot massage daily. It is also worth warning zealous parents from early learning to walk. If the child himself has not yet risen to his feet, do not put him and learn to walk. The muscular-ligamentous apparatus of the child has not yet matured and is underdeveloped, so this haste will increase the risk of microtrauma of the foot tissue, sprain, slow down the development of the foot and accelerate the development of flat feet.


Despite the fact that the underlying causes of the disease are internal causes, the provoking factor is external causes. And first of all, these are the wrong shoes. Alas, according to doctors, about 65% of children by school age to some extent suffer from flat feet.

The prevalence of cheap shoes, made without taking into account the anatomical structure of the foot, has led to the fact that over the past 10-15 years, the incidence has increased by 35%. Shoes that are completely devoid of heels are extremely harmful to the foot. Love for ballet shoes and sneakers plays a bad role in this case.

Children’s shoes, as well as any correct shoes, should have a small heel, a hardback and spring arch support. The latter provides the correct formation of the arches of the foot.


Flat feet in an adult are almost incurable. However, this does not mean that nothing can be done and the consequences of flat feet are inevitable, like the onset of autumn after summer.

In fact, you can not only slow down the development of degenerative processes in the foot, but also significantly improve the condition of the feet, and at the same time the general condition of the body. And to prevent the appearance of osteochondrosis, arthrosis and other “charms”.

One of the most effective ways is to wear arch support. We already wrote about models and features of the choice of arch support in more detail. Oddly enough, this simple remedy has a much greater effect than all other treatment methods. Correct anatomical arch support ensures the correct position of the foot while walking and helps the foot to play a fully absorbing role. By the way, in those countries where arch support is common, like toothbrushes, the percentage of patients with osteochondrosis is noticeably lower than in our country.

Daily gymnastics, walking, walking on grass and earth are an excellent prophylactic and therapeutic tool that stimulates and strengthens the ligamentous apparatus. Walking on the ground, grass, sand, stones should be barefoot – this strengthens the muscles and improves blood circulation in the feet.

Feet – a mirror of health. Therefore, you need to take care of them from infancy. And stop considering flat feet as a harmless cosmetic defect.