Flat Feet

Definition: Medical condition in which the arch of the foot collapses, with the entire sole of the foot coming into complete or near-complete contact with the ground

Medical terminology: pes planus or pes planovalgus

What are flat feet?

Flat feet or fallen arches is a condition when the foot does not have a normal arch when standing. When all body weight is placed on the feet, there is little to no space between the arch and the ground.

What can cause flat feet?

  • Flexible foot (hypermobile)
  • Injury/trauma
  • Arthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain diseases or disorders – diabetes, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, marfan syndrome
  • Family history

What are the symptoms of having flat feet?

Many people who have flat feet do not experience foot pain or other problems. Having flat feet does not mean you will experience foot pain but you may be more susceptible to certain foot pain and foot disorders.

  • Achy or tired feet
  • Pain in the arch, heel or ankle
  • Ankle instability
  • Shin splints (pain in front of leg)
  • Calluses and/or corns
  • pain in knee, hip or lower back


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Common problems associated with flat feet or fallen arches are:

How do you diagnose flat feet?

By visiting your foot specialist, a physical examination and observation will be made of you sitting, standing and walking. This will help determine the severity of the disorder and what appropriate treatments are needed for your symptoms.

What are treatments for flat feet?

If you experience foot pain or other foot symptoms associated with flat feet, there are many conservative treatments available. The Mississauga Foot Clinic can provide custom-made medical devices that can help reduce foot pain or other symptoms associated with flat feet. Our clinic also has different physical therapy treatments that may alleviate foot pain.

If conservative treatments fail to reduce symptoms, surgery may be necessary. Your foot specialist and family physician can discuss different surgical options and help refer you to the necessary health specialist.