Are Flat Feet Causing Your Chronic Pain?

The flexible flat foot is only flat when your weight is put on your entire foot, but intact when weight is taken off your heels (such as standing with your weight only on your toes.

While the structural flat foot is not very attractive, it’s stable and functional and doesn’t cause chronic pain.  On the other hand, the flexible flatfoot can create severe chronic pain throughout your entire body.

What Causes A Flexible Flat Foot?

The flexible flat foot is not a ’cause’ in of itself, but merely a symptom of an underlying cause. Medical literature cites the most frequent common causes of flexible flat feet as:

  • Weakening of the tendons in the foot (e.g., Posterior tibial tendonitis)
  • Weakening of the ligaments in the foot (e.g., resulting from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome)
  • Weakening of the muscles in the foot (e.g., resulting from Myasthenia Gravis, Muscular Dystrophy)
  • Nerve Diseases (e.g., resulting from Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Injury to the foot

In 2002, I described a common (but previously unknown) cause of the flexible flat foot – an embryological abnormal foot structure I named the PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity.

If you have a PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, your heel bone is structurally twisted inwards and upwards. As you put weight on your foot, gravity forces your heel bone downward, until its’ entire bottom surface rests on the ground (abnormally pronates). This inward, downward twist of your heel bone causes the inner arch of your foot to flatten.

The more severe your PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, the more severe the structural twist in your heel bone.  The more severe the structural twist in your heel bone, the further it has to drop in order to reach the ground.

Because of all this twisting and dropping of your feet, your entire skeletal framework is affected. As a result your posture becomes distorted.

The worse your posture becomes, the more pain you will feel throughout your body.

If Your Flexible Flat Foot Is Caused By A PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity, It Can Be Effectively Treated.

The aim of any corrective therapy which treats the flexible flat foot is to reduce or eliminate your pain by reducing your foot twist. This is typically done by supporting your foot with orthotics/arch supports.   The problem with this approach is that orthotics/arch supports weaken the muscles in your feet, and when they aren’t worn, not only does your flexible flat foot become flatter due to the weakened muscles, but your foot twist increases as well, and with it, your postural distortions and pain.

So if you have a PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity that is causing your flexible flat foot, the key to successfully treating it is to decrease your foot twist without the use of orthotics. This is done by a non invasive approach called Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy, which was developed specifically to effectively treat this abnormal foot structure and permanently eliminate chronic pain.

If you have flat feet, you may be wondering if perhaps they’re the cause of your chronic muscle and joint pain.  The answer lies in which of the two types of flat foot that you have – either the structural flat foot or the flexible flat foot.

The structural flat foot is always flat as a pancake. That is; whether you are sitting, standing or walking, it never has an arch.