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1st of 2 parts looking at Footcare examines the causes of Flat Feet

Posted by Eamonn Brady on


Flat Feet (Part 1)


During childhood, usually between the ages of 3 and 10, a space develops on the inner side of our feet where the bottom of the foot is off the ground. These are referred to as the "arches" of our foot. The height of this arch varies. People with a low arch or who have no arch are classified as having flat feet. Sometimes this is referred to as having "fallen arches" though this term is misleading as most with “fallen arches” have a low arch.


Flat feet can run in families, and both feet are usually affected. Occasionally, flat feet are due to a problem in the way the foot forms in the womb. For example, a joint may be mis formed or two or more bones may fuse together. In these situations, the feet are stiff and flat, and the problem is usually noticeable during childhood.

Another form of the problem is when the foot tends to roll inwards too much while standing or walking. This can be due to weak ligaments in the heel joint or at the base of the big toe which can cause excessive rolling in of the foot. Muscle imbalances and associated altered alignment further up the kinetic chain, such as in the knee, hip and lower back can also contributed to this flat foot presentation. "Pronation" of the foot is another term for rolling of the foot thus an "over-pronated foot" is a term for excessive rolling of the feet.  Regular rolling in of the middle of the foot causes the heel and the front of the foot to point outwards more than usual. A common method of telling if a person has developed over-pronated feet is to stand up on tippy-toes, or by pushing the big toe up as far as it can go. If an arch appears, the foot is sufficiently flexible and there are no issues.



A chiropodist assesses diagnoses and treats diseases and abnormalities of the feet and lower limbs. A chiropodist can significantly improve a person’s quality of life by alleviating painful symptoms and promoting and maintaining mobility. Whelehans pharmacy has a chiropodist, James Pedley. You can make an appointment online via the Whelehans Website or in store or by phoning us at 04493 34591.


To be continued…next week


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Email queries to Find us on Facebook.

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