How do you tell if you have flat feet or collapsed arches?
There really isn’t a “perfect” foot type. More Americans have symptoms of flat collapsed arches than high arches. Flat feet and collapsed arches can be caused by different things. Some people have their parents to thank. Much like the blue eyes or brown hair, collapsed arches can be passed down hereditarily. Some individuals simply have collapsed arches due to inherited bone structure, bone position or flexibility in the foot.
Most children go through the first few years of life with very flat feet. This is a natural development that tends to go away by the time they mature.
Others develop collapsed arches as they age or gain weight as the feet attempt to support the weight increase by slightly widening the stance. The widened stance causes the ankle to turn inward, decreasing the arch of the foot.
In any case, tendons, ligaments and joints on the inside of the foot are stretched, fatigued and begin to cause pain. Pain doesn’t have to be limited to the foot though. As the rest of your body compensates for bad foot position, other joints, tendons and ligaments begin to stretch. It is not uncommon for patients to complain of knee, hip or back pain caused by flat feet.