A person whose arches fall when he stands is said to have flatfeet. The condition maybe inherited or develop from overweight, strain, prolonged standing, or poorly supported walking in early childhood. The result can be aching feet, bunions, hammertoes (curving of the toes so they point downward), and pain in the calves.
Wear orthotic (arch) supports and suitable shoes to relieve pain. Avoid long periods of standing. Exercises prescribed by an orthopedist or podiatrist may strengthen the ligaments.
Infants look flatfooted because a pad of fat in the arch covers the bone. The fat pad usually disappears by age two. During the preschool years while the bone is hardening, select shoes with adequate support. Observe a child’s posture and walk; check with your doctor if you see irregularities.