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Anon asked...

Flat feet problem

I would like to get some advice about my condition please. In 2008 I was told I have flat feet and would start to effect me in lots of places. Now I have severe back pain knee pain shoulder pain and sore feet also headaches and stiff necks every day. I have had lots of physiotherapy treatments including ultra sounds, acupuncture and being to the podiatrist and got insoles. Nothing is helping me I am in so much pain and every day. When I went to a knee surgeon he said I don't need scans or MRI and has referred me to a foot and ankle surgeon which can take 3 months I can't wait that long I am currently on anti-depression tablets cause it's getting me down that much. Can you please give me some advice thanks.

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The answer

We can sense that you are struggling to cope with the chronic pain you are experiencing as a result of having flat feet and hope we can offer you help in seeking support in the management of this condition.

Flat feet is something you may have been born with or may have developed later in life following trauma to the feet or as a result of arthritis. Neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and Muscular Dystrophy can also lead to the arches of the feet falling, causing flat feet.  It is not fully understood why this occurs in some people  but being over weight, having high blood pressure or Diabetes is known to increase a persons risk.

Recent research into the effects of an enzyme called Proteolytic Enzyme on the tendons in the foot may have implications on the treatment of this condition, providing an alternative to surgery in the future but this is only in the early stages and may take 10-15 years or more to develop.

In the meantime, problems relating to flat feet are known to range from mild to severe, as in your experience, causing pain through the legs, hips and spine, upwards, as you describe.

Treatment is usually physiotherapy but in rare cases, surgery may be required to straighten the bones or to separate them if they have fused together but, if all other avenues have been explored, you may want to consider looking into the management of your chronic pain both physically and psychologically. Pain in itself is a complicated problem. Counsellors and clinical psychologists can often help you or you may benefit from referral to the local pain clinic where doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and psychologists all work together to help you manage your pain and cope with the long term effects of living with it on a daily basis.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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