Characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of this common pathology.

Many know of flat feet (or Pronator Syndrome), but few know that this can often be considered more like a genetic characteristic, like having green or brown eyes!

Feet are flat at birth, indeed children have flat feet. This is because larger soles provide a broader base of support and, consequently, a valuable aid during their first steps.

It’s around 8/12 years old when the child’s feet undergo a transformation that will make them become an adult.

Flat feet not always cause a functional disadvantage. In some cases, such as for swimmers or soldiers, they can ensure best performance. Particularly in the case of soldiers, for example, flat feet are a protective biomechanical factor: they guarantee a more efficient distribution of loads, protecting the foot from stress fractures caused by long marches with military boots.

Flat feet become symptomatic when the compensatory mechanisms fail, causing pain and instability to the patient.
This imbalance can sometimes be caused by an excessive load of the foot and the ankle, often without the patient even noticing it.

Everyday causes can lead to symptoms of pain, also important ones: shoes that are new or worn only a few times, going back to the gym after the summer break, long walks around town probably going shopping!

Typically, the pain occurs in the medial area and from there it can spread up the leg. Other times, pain is not specific and cannot be localized, being distributed throughout the foot and leg medially and laterally. This is caused most of the time by an abnormal gait, produced in an attempt to protect the initially injured area.

Adjusting the intensity of sport activity might be the first thing to do. Of fundamental importance is the stretching of back muscles of the leg for athletes, who often have a toned quadriceps muscle, but also for women who frequently wear high heels threatening to shorten (standing mainly on tiptoes) the gastrocnemius (calf muscle). Performing a series of exercises daily and repeatedly during the day can be decisive and more effective than any painkiller.

Instead, if symptoms remain constant or seem to worsen, a weight-bearing X-ray of feet and the experience of an orthopedic specialist will guide you through the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.