The simple answer is YES! flat feet can cause pain which in turn can lead to knee and back pain! On standing, the inside border of the feet should have a slight arch. This means that the small bones of our feet are correctly aligned. This is required for the small muscles to perform at optimum levels and support the body weight while walking. Flattening of this arch, puts tremendous pressure on the small muscles and bones of the feet. As a result, swelling them. This swelling in turn tightens up the muscles causing foot pain.

Ground forces are also transmitted up the legs causing other joints, namely knees, hips and back, to compensate. Thus, causing pain in these joints.

Flat arches also bend the knees on the inside. As a result there’s tremendous pressure on the inside of the knees.Eventually causing arthritis in the long run if the problem is not corrected.


Normal arch


Flat feet

What can be done to fix flat feet?

It is very important to get the feet properly assessed by a Physiotherapist or a Podiatrist at the first sign of pain or discomfort. Remember , the longer you are in pain, the longer it will take to heal. Physiotherapists will treat joint pain or swelling by using various hands on techniques. They will also massage to reduce muscle tension and joint stiffness. Finally showing you strengthening exercises to strengthen the muscles of the foot.

The next thing is to assess how you stand and walk and how this affects your feet. At our clinic we use a special equipment called Gait Scan. You are required to stand and walk across a metallic plate which scans the feet to know the high pressure areas in your foot. Based on these scans, flat feet insoles or arch supports are fitted to provide support. This in turn reduces the impact on other joints such as the knees and lower back and prevent future issues. Orthotics can be worn in any closed shoe. It is advisable to gradually increase the time wearing them starting from an hour a day.