No treatment is necessary for flatfeet if they don't cause pain.
If your flatfeet are painful, your doctor might suggest:
- Arch supports (orthotic devices). Over-the-counter arch supports may help relieve the pain caused by flatfeet. Or your doctor might suggest custom-designed arch supports, which are molded to the contours of your feet. Arch supports won't cure flatfeet, but they often reduce symptoms.
- Stretching exercises. Some people with flatfeet also have a shortened Achilles tendon. Exercises to stretch this tendon may help.
- Supportive shoes. A structurally supportive shoe might be more comfortable than sandals or shoes with minimal support.
- Physical therapy. Flatfeet may contribute to overuse injuries in some runners. A physical therapist can do a video analysis of how you run to help you improve your form and technique.
Surgery isn't done solely to correct flatfeet. However, you might have surgery for an associated problem, such as a tendon tear or rupture.
June 12, 2015
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- Flexible flatfoot in children. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00046. Accessed May 25, 2015.
- Fields KB. Evaluation and diagnosis of common causes of foot pain in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 25, 2015.
- Chorley J, et al. Clinical features and management in the child or adolescent with foot pain. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 25, 2015.
- Pes planus/flat foot. In: Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics. http://www.wheelessonline.com/ortho/pes_planus_flat_foot. Accessed May 25, 2015.
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00166. Accessed May 25, 2015.
- Laskowski, ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 26, 2015.