At the Jan van Goyen Medical Center we see patients with flat feet every day: feet with little or no hollow at the bottom. This can give you complaints, but you don't have to. Dr. Eefke Warmerdam, orthopedist at the outpatient clinic orthopedics at Jan van Goyen, explains how flat feet arise and what you can do about possible complaints.
How do you know if you have flat feet?
“To assess whether you have flat feet, it is best to look at your footprint. In people with flat feet, you can see that the moist footprint makes contact with the ground all over the sole of the foot. Do not panic if you have flat feet, most flat feet do not cause any complaints, and do not limit you in sports activities.”
How do flat feet develop?
“The vast majority of children between the ages of 1-5 have flat feet. More than 95% of children develop a normal arch over the course of growth. Sometimes this is not so. This may be genetically determined or have other causes. Flat feet can also develop over time, for example during pregnancy or when someone is overweight or diabetic.”
What complaints do people with flat feet get?
“Not everyone has complaints. People who do have complaints often have pain in different parts of the foot, sometimes also in the ankle, knee, hip or back. Sometimes the complaints go away on their own, if they don't, the patients often come to us."
How can you help these patients?
“Of course that depends entirely on the complaint and the underlying problem. Sometimes we can help the patient with a specialized physiotherapist, an adjustment of the insole or a special shoe that has been measured by an orthopedic shoe technician. We can solve other problems surgically.”
What do you recommend to people with flat feet?
“You can't always prevent flat feet, but I advise everyone to wear shoes that fit well: both in length and width. Many foot complaints are related to the footwear one wears. Do the complaints persist? Then make an appointment with us and we will investigate the best solution together.”