Flat Feet: Symptoms, Causes And Risks

Flat feet affects 30% of population in India, here is what you need to know about this common condition.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Feb 08, 2022Updated at: Feb 08, 2022
Flat Feet: Symptoms, Causes And Risks

Some problems are so common the people usually do not give much attention to it. It can grow to become a major disease and cause other problems especially during the old age. Flat feet are one condition in which the curve of the feet is less or not there at all. This puts direct pressure on your knees and causes joint disorders and knee injury. Approximately every 1 out of 10 person in India has problem of flat feet but still majority of them remain unaware. It affects 30 percent of the population and is one of the biggest challenges. Today we will look at some symptoms, causes and risk of having flat feet and conditions we must remain aware of.

What is Flat Feet?

Flat feet is a condition where there is no gap beneath your inner foot and where the person stands. We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician in Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to know more about this issue. He said that flat feet have fallen arches also known as pes planus inn medical terms. This results in problems like covering less ground, getting tired easily, pain in knees and several other problems. In majority of cases, flat foot occurs from childhood and it is also the best time to heal your feet. This condition can affect one or both feet and hence could cause disbalanced in older adults. 


Usually, if there is no severe pain because of flat foot condition, then it can be treated gradually by using physical therapies and remedies. There could be stiffness, swelling and pain in the legs if the condition is getting severe and may cause complications. This usually happens with those that have no arch in their foot. Flat foot people are not able to tackle shock they receive from the ground while walking and can hence have pain in their legs very often. 

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Symptoms of Flat Feet

Here are some symptoms that you must know about having flat feet, these are related to strain and effect of this condition. 

  • Pain in knee joints
  • Ankles turned inwards
  • Discomfort while walking, running and climbing activities
  • Stain on muscles
  • Pressure on connecting ligaments and joints
  • Swelling or stiffness
  • Pain in hips, lower back, and calf of the person

Common places where the flat foot causes pain are ankles, arch of the foot, knees, hips, calf and lower back of your body. Usually you can get by looking at the arch of your feet that you have flat feet or not, but if you experience any such symptoms of flat feet, then you must consult a doctor.

Causes of Flat feet in People

There are various causes that leads a person of having flat feet, here are some causes you should know about-

  1. Genetic factors that could be passed on in the family to you, in this case, the person has flat foot from very beginning. 
  2. Weak arches are also a cause of having flat feet. Arch is visible and when a person bends or sits, then the foot flattens onto the ground. This is highly risky and you must get it tested if this happens in your case
  3. It could be due to ankle or foot injury
  4. Due to arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  5. Because of stress of the arches of foot, it usually happens because of being obese or carrying too much extra load regularly.pain_inFeet
  6. Dysfunction or damage in the posterior tibial tendons, also because of ruptures in the feet
  7. It can be caused because of nervous system disorder or muscle diseases such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy as well
  8. A condition that causes your bones of the foot to fuse together and result in stiffness, it is called tarsal condition
  9. Tendonitis that occurs because of wear and tear of tissues in the feet because of overuse, usually happens in the older age
  10. Developmental abnormalities that occur from birth or can develop after birth in infants

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Risk Factors of Flat Feet

There are different risk factors that can actually increase the chances of having flat feet in people. Some of these risk factors occur because of general conditions whereas others develop over time as diseases. Here are some common risks associated with flat feet-

  • Obesity
  • Trauma
  • Diabetes
  • Trauma to the feet
  • Having family members that could cause a particular condition
  • Condition which could affect tendons
  • Wrong posture of feet in children
  • Due to old age

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