Flat feet / ‘Fallen Arches’

Flat feet / ‘Fallen Arches’

Flat feet, it’s an interesting term, that doesn’t always sit well with Podiatrists. The difficulty with it, is trying to work out what is considered ‘normal’, and what could actually be a problem. If you’re feet appear to have no arch and excessively roll inwards and downwards towards the floor when you’re standing, then it’s likely flat feet.

Often, even though your feet may appear to have a well-defined arch when you sit and have your foot off the ground, feet will become much flatter when you stand on them. It is this ‘weight bearing’ position when you’re standing that we are most interested in. This is because this inwards rolling, known as pronation, can place excess stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones in the feet, making you more vulnerable to foot pain and injury.


What causes flat feet?

There are many causes of increased pronation which gives rise to the appearance of flat feet. The most common being:

  • Hereditary or genetic predisposition.
  • Abnormal muscle length or muscle tone. (e.g. tight calf muscles can cause pronation as a compensatory mechanism)
  • Abnormal leg rotations. (e.g. bow legs or knock knees can be functional or structural altering forces through the feet)
  • Hypermobility or ligamentous laxity.
  • Poor pelvic or hip alignment or alignment causing leg length differences
  • Spinal conditions (e.g. scoliosis)


I think that could be me, not sure, what do I do now?

Booking a Biomechanical Assessment with one of our qualified Podiatrists will be a step in the right direction. 😉

During this 1 hour appointment, we will discuss your history and complete an intensive assessment of your lower limbs will be carried out. During the assessment the Podiatrist will assess the range of motion in your feet and legs. Check the muscles in your feet and legs for any strength or flexibility concerns. We will also complete gait analysis – monitoring your lower back, knees, ankles, and feet while you walk. Other factors such as exercise levels and current footwear will also be discussed.

If you require further investigation, the Podiatrist can refer you for X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI imaging.

If I do have flat feet, how are flat feet treated?

If your podiatrist’s assessment determines that your foot alignment is contributing to your lower limb pain or puts you at risk of future injury, treatment may include:

  • Specific strengthening exercises.
  • Recommendation of a change in footwear.
  • Modified training or exercise advice.
  • Orthotics or simple shoes innersoles may be necessary.


To book, please click on the link here, or give us a call in the clinic on 4325 0600.

(02) 4325 0600