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Flat feet problem

I need help/advice or treatment with painful feet. I have flat feet and was diagnosed with Planar Facisis. What do I do?

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The answer

Having flat feet, or ‘fallen arches’, means that your feet have low or no arches and press almost completely flat to the floor.

Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for when a band of tissue in the foot, known as the plantar fascia, becomes damaged and thickens. The plantar fascia is a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot. It connects the heel bone with the bones of the foot, and acts like a shock absorber to the foot. Sudden damage, or damage that occurs over many months or years, can cause tiny tears to develop inside the tissue of the plantar fascia. This can cause the plantar fascia to thicken, resulting in heel pain. The surrounding tissue and heel bone can also sometimes become inflamed.

Heel pain is a common condition and in most cases will diminish following some routine self-care measures but if the pain persists longer than three weeks, see your GP or another suitably qualified healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist. This is necessary as there are many types of heel pain, each with their own different causes and separate forms of treatment.

If you experience heel pain, some simple self-care measures include:

  • Avoid wearing ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes
  • Wear shoes with good heel cushioning and effective arch support
  • Avoid walking or exercising on hard ground
  • Rest regularly and try not to walk or run too fast
  • Wear a raised heel (no more than 6-10 mm higher than normal)
  • Losing weight if you are overweight

Treatment can take many forms from resting your foot as much as possible, stretching exercises and deep heat therapy to steroid injections and even medication or surgery to release the tight tissue ‘band’. In some cases, padding and strapping can be applied to alter the direction of stretch of the ligament to alleviate symptoms in the short-term. However, for the long-term, special insoles are prescribed to help the feet to function more effectively and help to make any possible recurrence less likely.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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