A flat foot is a postural deformity in which the arches of the foot collapse. This usually occurs in childhood and is a painless condition. Sometimes, the entire sole of the foot comes into contact with the ground. Flatfeet can sometimes contribute to problems in the ankles and knees because the condition can alter the alignment of your legs.
Damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon, which connects the lower leg, along the ankle, to the middle of the arch, causes flat foot. Research showed that flat feet occurs due to increased activity of proteolytic enzymes that breakdowns the tendons of the foot causing them to lose their arch.
Treatment of flat feet may also be appropriate only for those who have associated foot or lower leg pain, or if the condition affects the knees or the lower back. The treatment is basically physical in nature involving arch supports and other measures.
A flat foot is the most common foot deformity known. In fact, sixty million Americans or 25% of the U.S. population have flat feet. Some of these people may experience problems that limit their activities. About 19% of the U.S. population has an average of 1.4 foot problems each year. There are about 13,320 active Podiatric Physicians in the United States today.