Flat Foot/Feet: Signs and Symptoms

Flat Foot (pes planus) may present a single or groups of symptoms.

Foot Pain
People with flat foot experiences pain in the inner side of the ankle along with some swelling, the entire foot, the foot’s arch, the calf, knee, hips, the back and in the lower leg area in general.

Individuals with flat feet may also experience stiffness in either or in both feet.

Pain and Swelling
Lower Leg Pain is more prominent for flat-footed people. The ankle is the most common site of swelling in persons with flat feet.

When wearing a shoe, a person with flat feet will have an uneven shoe wear and a collapse of the shoe towards inside the flat foot. The shoes may look like unevenly worn.

Foot Arch Abnormalities
Lowered foot arch and flat foot arch are the most common manifestations of a person with a flat foot. One or both feet may be planted flat on the ground, either no arch or showing just a slight arch.

Calluses are thickened areas of the skin that has been repeatedly exposed by trauma or friction.

The flat part of the foot might look reddish due to the repeated pressure that it takes from the ground or the soles of the shoes.

Altered Functioning of the Foot and Postural Problem

The client with a flat foot might find it hard to walk normally due to the alterations of the surface area at the foot’s base. The person might present a clumsy gait.

Flat Foot Description
Normally, people have a gap under the arch of the foot when they stand straight. This arch, which is found in the inner foot, is slightly elevated from the ground. But a person with no arch in their foot base is known to have a flat foot. Flatfoot or pes planus, is a common disorder in which the longitudinal arch of the foot is diminished, or totally absent in some cases.

The feet of these people have been observed to roll over to the inner side when they are standing or walking, and the result- feet that are pointing in an outward direction. A considerable number of people with fallen arches (flat feet) have a painless experience and even present no problems at all. Unfortunately for some, they experience intense pain especially when connecting muscles and ligaments have been strained. Pain may also arise when the leg joints are greatly affected. If ankles turn inward because of the condition, the prone areas are the feet, ankles and the knees.

Genetic Factors
Some people present a flat foot since when they were a child. An inborn development defect has resulted to most flat-footed children, but even when a person ages, he or she could still have a flatfoot, especially postpartum mothers. In general, flatfoot runs in the family.  ’s blood.

Weak Arches
The arch of the foot may be there when no weight is placed on it, such as when a person sits. But when they stand up with the feet on the ground, it flattens as pressure is applied onto it.

Injuries and Disorders
Injuries such as ruptured tendons might predispose a person to have a flatfoot. Nervous system Disorders such as spina bifida and muscular dystrophy, Diabetes and Pregnancy places an individual at a higher risk.

As a person ages, his or her risk for flatfoot also increases due to overuse of the feet throughout the person’s lifespan, thus the wear and tear.


For people who are asymptomatic yet have flatfeet, they do not usually care seeing the doctor or a foot specialist called podiatrists. Have an appointment with them is necessary, especially when they ask you questions for assessment:

  1. If the fallen arches have just developed days ago
  2. If pain is experienced in specific areas like the feet, ankles and the entire lower limbs
  3. The observed symptoms does not improve, even if the person wears supportive, well-fitting shoes
  4. Either the left, right or both feet are getting flatter each passing day
  5. If there is stiffness felt in the feet
  6. The feet feels unwieldy and seems like to carry loads of weight

Licensed health care professionals instruct their patients to stand straight, do some walking or just by looking and examining the client’s feet. Aside from those exams, the physician will also scan for the client’s past medical history, such as previous illnesses, history of accidents or trauma and pregnancies. The feet will be observed from the rear to the frontal views for any changes in shape and the presence or absence of arches. The patient may be asked to stand tippy-toes while the podiatrist or physician takes a look at the shape and any altered functions on both feet.

Depending on a case-to-case scenario, the doctor might ask for diagnostic results such as an X-ray, CT scan and MRI Orders. The CT scan gives a 2-D image while MRI uses electromagnetic waves. Both are utilized to examine abnormalities found in the bone.