Fallen arches: what are they?

We explain what causes flat feet and the problems they can cause people, and what can be done to help alleviate the discomfort/pain

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Fallen arches, AKA flat feet or pes planus, is a collapsing of the foot’s arch, which can cause pain, fatigue, and affect gait, which subsequently can put strain on the knees, ankles legs and hips.


The arch is made up of the calcaneus (heel), talus (ankle),  navicular, cuneiforms and the metatarsal bones, as well as ligaments and tendons. The arch allows the foot to support the body when upright.

Causes can include ankle/ foot injuries, arthritis, damage to the tendon, age, or sometimes it can occur after pregnancy.

Symptoms of fallen arches include being unable to slip fingers underneath the arches; an inwards rolling of feet and ankles when running; and knee problems due to lack of support from the feet.


Orthotics, gait analysis, and barefoot exercises and sessions can all help.

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