Flat Foot

Do you suspect you have flat foot or fallen arches? Overpronation, when the foot rolls to the inner side, is a common indication. Check the soles of a pair of well-worn shoes. If you notice more wear on the inner side, you could have flat foot.

Flat foot, also known as pes planus, is when the arch in your foot collapses or falls. In severe cases, the entire arch of the foot can touch the ground when standing. Flat foot is very common in infants and toddlers as the feet are not yet fully developed. In most adults, the fallen arch occurs over time or can be caused by an injury. Other conditions such as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, a condition resulting from a weakened posterior tibial tendon; ligaments; and joints on the inner side of the ankle and foot, can also lead to flat foot.

Flat foot can lead to foot, ankle, leg, or even back pain felt during many daily activities. Learn more below about managing your foot pain.


  • Pain over the tendon in the inner part of the hindfoot and midfoot
  • Pain that extends from the foot to the ankle, calf, hip, or back
  • Pain during everyday activities such as walking, running, or standing
  • Difficulty moving your heel or standing on your toes
  • Feet may tire easily or become painful after standing


  • Gradual degeneration of soft tissues that support the inner side of your foot
  • Foot injuries
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
  • Marfan’s syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight

Risk Factors

  • Down syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Foot injuries
  • Excess weight


  • Physical examination of the feet and ankle
  • X-ray to show bone health
  • MRI or CT scan to show muscle and soft tissue health

Treatment Options

  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching exercises
  • Orthotic arch supports worn in shoes
  • Wearing supportive shoes
  • Activity modification if pain is present
  • Weight loss