Has no visible arch in the foot when they stand. All babies have flat feet. Arches form during early childhood. If arches don’t develop, or they collapse later in life (fallen arches), flat feet can cause pain and affect walking. Orthotics and stretching exercises can help.
Most people’s arches develop throughout childhood, but some people never develop arches. Some children have flexible flatfeet, often called flexible flatfoot, in which the arch is visible when the child is sitting or standing on tiptoes but disappears when the child stands. Most children outgrow flexible flatfeet without problems.
People without flatfeet can also develop the condition. Arches can collapse abruptly after an injury. Or the collapse can happen over years of wear and tear. Over time, the tendon that runs along the inside of the ankle and helps support the arch can get weakened or tear. As the severity increases, arthritis may develop in the foot.
Having flat feet may be in your genes. As a child ages, arches form in the feet. Some people have high arches, while others have very low or nearly absent arches, causing flat feet.
Some people develop flat feet later in life. The condition sometimes runs in families. And certain problems increase your risk of flat feet, including:
- Achille’s tendon injuries.
- Broken bones.
- Cerebral palsy.
- Down syndrome.
- High blood pressure.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.