Why do Some People Have Flat Feet?

Embarrassed female hiding her feet, isolated on white background

Most people have a gap underneath their feet while standing. Their arch, the inner part of the foot, will be slightly raised off the ground, but those with flat feet or fallen arches have very low or nonexistent arches. The question on everyone’s mind, though, is why do some people have flat feet to begin with? Read on to explore some of the reasons why a person may have low arches or flat feet.

For a consultation with the top podiatrist in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Jamshidinia today.

What Flat Feet Are

First, let’s examine what flat feet are. Someone with fallen arches may have one or both feet sitting flat on the ground. Their shoes might fit and sit unevenly or wear down more quickly on one side. While there are no symptoms, some people with fallen arches or flat feet may experience foot pain or back pain, depending on the severity. Some may have an uneven distribution of body weight which causes fallen arches or flat feet. The most common symptom of flat feet is foot pain because connecting ligaments and muscles may be strained. Other pain symptoms may occur in the form of swelling in the arch area, back or hips, calf or knee, or general lower legs.

Why Some People Have Flat Feet

Over 26 bones are held together by over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments as well as 33 joints inside one human foot. Foot arches give support to distribute body weight evenly across legs and feet while also giving spring to your steps. Structure of your foot arch will determine how you walk. Arches must be both flexible and durable in order to adapt to various levels of stress and walking surfaces.

Some causes of flat feet may include genetic family history of flat feet, foot or ankle injuries, weak arches, arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Other causes might be the damage, dysfunction, or rupture of the posterior tibial tendon. Some nervous system or muscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy or spina bifida may cause flat feet issues as well. Another cause of flat feet may be caused by tarsal coalition wherein the foot bones connect in an unusual way. People are also much more likely to develop flat feet if they are overweight, obese, diabetic, or pregnant. It may also be caused as people develop, age or following pregnancy. Athletes may also develop the condition due to past injuries.

Oddly enough, some people with flat feet may also never experience any problems or pain. Flat feet only require attention and treatment if they are causing you discomfort, restricting movement, or indicating another underlying condition.

Treatments for Flat Feet

If you are dealing with flat feet, then the good news is that flat feet are fairly common. Flat feet treatments exist to help relieve discomfort and correct any issues they may be causing. In some cases, supportive shoes, fitted insoles, wedge supports, or arch supports (AKA orthotics) may be enough to relieve pain and strain on the feet. If flat feet are due to obesity, then weight loss may help improve symptoms of pain and inflammation. For those who feel that their flat feet condition is more severe, severely restricting movement and causing intense pain, flat foot surgery and physical therapy may be the best option. If you are looking to correct your flat feet and gain relief from foot discomfort, contact the expert doctors at Jamfeet for a consultation today.

Podiatrist in Los Angeles

Comprising the top podiatrist in Los Angeles, our expert team at Jamfeet work tirelessly to give the greatest attention and care to patients suffering from foot and ankle conditions. Utilizing our years of education, training, and experience, we effortlessly complete different foot and ankle treatments.

Most Common Tendon Injuries

Foot stepping legs isolated on a white background

Tendon injuries can be a serious problem and may result in excruciating pain and permanent damage if left untreated. Each type of tendon injury varies in severity. To help you learn more, here are a list of common tendon injuries and common causes.

4 Common Tendon Injuries

The 4 most common tendon injuries include the quadriceps, Achilles, rotator cuff, and biceps:

• The Quadriceps are a group of 4 muscles that come together above your kneecap to form the patellar tendon. Most commonly referred to as quads, this group of muscles is used to extend the leg at the knee and aids in walking, running and jumping.
• The Achilles is located on the back portion of the foot just above the heel, where the calf muscles attaches to the heel of the foot. This tendon is vital for pushing off the foot and it helps you stand on your tiptoes and push off when you lift off the heel.
• The Rotator Cuff is in the shoulder and is composed of 4 muscle groups that function together to raise your arm out to the side, to help you rotate the arm, and to keep your shoulder from popping out of its socket.
Biceps are a group of arm muscles that bring the hand toward the shoulder by bending the elbow. Ruptures of the biceps are extremely rare and only occur at the top of your shoulder.

Common Causes of a Ruptured Tendon

A tendon rupture is most common in middle-aged or older men. In young adults, muscles usually tear before the attached tendon does but in older adults (specifically those with diseases such as gout and hyperparathyroidism) tendon ruptures are more common.

General causes of tendon ruptures include:

• Direct trauma. This occurs from direct contact from athletic activities or trauma.
• Advanced age. As you age, your blood supply decreases.
• Eccentric loading. When your muscle contracts while it is being stretched, increased stress is placed on the involved tendon.
• Steroid injection into the tendon. This treatment is sometimes used for severe tendonitis.

Tendon ruptures in quadriceps are caused by:

• Direct trauma to the knee just above the kneecap.
• Advanced aging and decreased blood supply to the inside of the tendon.
• Combination of quadriceps contraction and stretching of the muscle

Tendon ruptures in the Achilles are caused by:

• Advanced aging and decreased blood supply to the inside of the tendon.
• Strenuous physical activity by those who are not well conditioned
• Direct trauma
• Unexpected forcing of the sole of your foot upward (i.e. landing on your feet alter jumping from a height)
• Excessive strain while pushing off with the weight bearing foot

Tendon ruptures in the rotator cuff are caused by:

• Lifting a heavy object overhead
• Direct trauma
• Attempting to break a fall with an outstretched hand

Tendon ruptures in biceps are caused by:

• Forced flexion of the arm
• Traumatic rupture usually occurs when lifting 150 pounds or more
• Advanced age resulting in gradual weakening of the tendon
• May occur spontaneously

Schedule a Consultation

If you suspect that you are experiencing any tendon injuries, consult your doctor to look at your bones via X-ray or MRI. Other tests may also be conducted to isolate the problem.

Dr. Jamshidinia at Century City Medical Plaza is a board-certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. For concerns regarding common foot injuries do not hesitate to contact us today!

Most Common Walking Mistakes

Walking is a great way to burn calories, strengthen muscles and bones, improve balance, boost mood and help prevent health problems such as heart disease to diabetes). But walking the wrong way can lead to injuries. Use this guide to make you’re striding right. Here are 10 common walking problems and how to fix them.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Shoes are among the guiltiest tools of common walking problems. Not all shoes are good for walking. To avoid setting yourself up for plantar fasciitis, muscle pulls and knee problems, consider these tips.

• Cushioning. Walking shoes should be lightweight, while providing comfort and medium cushioning. You don’t need as much cushioning as a runner but your shoes should be supportive and cushioned enough to protect your feet from impact.
• Soles. Walking shoes should have flexible soles so you don’t fight them as your foot rolls through the step.
• Replacement. The cushioning and support in your shoes degrades over time due to wear and tear. You should replace your shoes every 500 miles.
• Size. Your feet swell when you take a long walk. Your walking shoes should be larger than your average shoe size if you walk for 30 minutes or more for exercise.

Walking Too Slowly

Walking is a low impact exercise but walking too slowly is counterproductive. On average, your goal should be four miles per hour for a good pace. Your heart rate should rise slightly; you should be slightly out of breath and feel warm.

Using Poor Technique

Walking is not a difficult activity but technique is important to ensure you are walking properly and effectively.

• Stand tall and do not hunch
• Look straight forward and hold your head high
• Keep your shoulders relaxed but pulled slightly down and back
• Swing your arms in time with your feet but do not clench your fists
• Extend your legs through hips – push backward
• Land on your heels and then roll through and onto your toes
• Keep your midsection lightly engaged always
• Keep your breathing regular and deep

Missing Warm Ups and Post-Workout Cool Down

Warming up before walking helps you have a safe and effective workout. Cooling down after your workout ensures your muscles won’t stiffen up.

Before you head out on your next walk, start slowly and build up gradually. Then complete your walk slowly and spend a few moments stretching your major muscles again.

Following the Same Route at the Same Speed

Change is good. It’s okay to have a favorite walking routine and a comfortable route and pace, but variation of terrain helps muscular reactions. To mix it up, incorporate intervals into your walk, switch speeds and try a different route a few times per week. Adding variety to your daily walks will keep you from hitting a plateau.

Sticking to Treadmills

Walking on a treadmill is a walk to nowhere. While elevations and speed can change, the impact and challenge is different from walking outdoors. Change it up a few times a week and take your workout outdoors on the hills or on a hiking trail.

Schedule a Consultation

If you suspect that you are experiencing any of these common walking problems, consult your doctor to look at your bones via X-ray or MRI. Other tests may also be conducted to isolate the problem.

Dr. Jamshidinia at Century City Medical Plaza is a board-certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. For concerns regarding common foot injuries do not hesitate to contact us today!

Avoiding Athlete’s Foot

Pain in the foot. Massage of female feet on a gray background

Contrary to the name, athlete’s foot can affect anyone – not just athletes. Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis in the medical field, is a fungal infection often caused by walking barefoot in moist, public places like swimming pool decks or locker rooms. As the infection progresses, the foot and the skin between your toes can burn and itch. The skin may also turn red, begin peeling or form blisters.

Athlete’s food can be persistent, painful and make walking difficult but there are ways to prevent athlete’s food, especially during the summertime. That is why, with the weather warming up ,it’s important to learn how to go about avoiding athlete’s foot.

What Causes Athlete’s Foot?

Athlete’s foot breeds in warm, wet places such as locker rooms, gyms, swimming pool decks and changing rooms, or any place that is high in humidity and foot traffic. Unsterilized equipment used at a commercial salon or at home can also lead to infection.

Athlete’s foot is highly contagious, spreading through the touch of toes or feet of an infected person or by walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces such as swimming pools or shower rooms. Upon infection and if left untreated, the fungi continue to grow in your shoes where airflow is limited.

If you have athlete’s foot, treat it immediately to minimize further infection.

What is the Treatment?

Avoiding athlete’s foot with treatment depends on its type and severity. In general, it can be treated at home using an antifungal cream to kill the fungus or slow its growth. Two types of antifungal medication include:

Nonprescription antifungals are topical treatments including clotrimazole (Lotrimin), miconazole (Micatin), terbinafine (Lamisil), and talnaftate (Tinactin).

Prescription antifungals are recommended if nonprescription antifungals are not successful or if you have a severe infection. Topical treatments include butenafine (Mentax), clotrimazole and naftifine (Naftin). Oral treatments include fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox) and terbinafine (Laminsil).

It is important to complete the full course of treatment even if the symptoms improve or stop. If you have had athlete’s foot, reinfection is common and it needs to be fully treated each time.

Avoiding Athlete’s Foot

Taking precautions can reduce your chances of catching athlete’s foot. Here are 5 ways of avoiding athlete’s foot:

1. Wear Footwear in Public Areas. This includes pools, gyms, shower or locker rooms, and hotel rooms. Athlete’s foot grows in wet grounds especially in public areas with high foot traffic. Even when taking a shower in the gym, it is important to wear shower shoes, flip flops or sandals.

2. Keep Your Feet Dry. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments such as the insides of your shoes where there is little to no air. Sandals or flip flops help when it is hot and humid outside.

3. Wash Your Feet Every Day. Whenever you wash your feet, make sure to use soap and completely dry them afterwards.

4. Wear Socks with Breathable Fabrics. Avoid cotton and synthetic materials. Wear moisture wicking socks, wool socks, merino wool socks, liner socks, antibacterial socks, Coolmax socks, Drymax socks – to name a few.

5. Do Not Share Shoes. Avoid sharing shoes, towels and linens with someone who has athlete’s foot. If you live with someone who has athlete’s foot, wear shoes at all times to be safe.

Schedule a Consultation

If you suspect that you have athlete’s foot, consult your doctor to look for treatment options.

Dr. Jamshidinia at Century City Medical Plaza is a board-certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. For concerns regarding common foot injuries do not hesitate to contact us today!

Most Common Foot Problems

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis causes inflammation and degeneration of the Achilles tendon. The pain caused by Achilles tendonitis can develop gradually without a history of trauma. The pain can be a shooting pain, burning sensation or even an extremely piercing pain.

Achilles tendonitis is aggravated by activities that repeatedly stress the tendon, causing inflammation.

Arthritis

Arthritis causes inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the body’s joints. Inflammation causes redness, warmth, pain and swelling. Arthritis is a major cause of foot problems because each foot has 33 joints that can become affected by this condition.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot, a fungal infection, causes red, dry and flaking skin. The condition usually occurs between the toes or on the soles or sides of the feet. Athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails causing chronic fungal infections.

Bunions

Bunions are one of the most common foot problems. A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is a bone protruding towards the inside of the foot. Some symptoms of bunions include inflammation, swelling and soreness on the side surface of the big toe. Discomfort is also common among patients when walking.

Calluses

Calluses are caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over an area of the foot. This callus formation is the body’s response to protecting the foot against excessive pressure and friction. Calluses are normally found on the ball of the foot, the heel, and/or the inside of the big toe.

Corns

Corns are caused from an accumulation of dead skin cells on the foot, forming thick, hardened areas. Corns are very common and usually form on the tops, sides and tips of the toes. Constant friction and pressure from footwear can cause inflammation

Hammer Toes

A hammer toe is a toe that is contracted to the PIP joint (middle joint in the toe). Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe’s joints to curl downwards. Hammer toes may occur in any toe except the big toe. They are two types – flexible and rigid. In a flexible hammer toe, the joint has the ability to move. This type of hammer toe can be straightened manually. A rigid hammer toe does not have that same mobility. Movement is very limited and can be extremely painful.

Shin Splints

Shin splints are especially common among runners and other athletes. The pain usually develops gradually without a history of trauma and might begin as a dull ache along the front or inside of the shin after running or even walking. The pain can become more intense if not addressed, and shin splints should not be left untreated because of an increased risk of developing stress fractures.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toe nails are a common, painful condition where skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail or when the nail itself grows into the skin. This condition is very painful. Some ingrown toenails are chronic with repeated episodes of pain and infection.

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is relatively rare in children but the increases with age. Fungus infections occur when microscopic fungi gain entry through a small trauma in the nail, then grow and spread in the warm, moist environment inside the patient’s socks and shoes. Toenail fungus causes swelling, yellowing, thickening or crumbling of the nail, streaks or spots down the side of the nail, and even complete loss of the nail. Toenail color can vary from brown or yellow to white. Fungal infections can affect any toenail but most often on the big or small toe.

Schedule a Consultation

If you suspect that you are experiencing any common foot problems, consult your doctor to look into your bones via X-ray or MRI. Other tests may also be conducted to isolate the problem.

Dr. Jamshidinia at Century City Medical Plaza is a board-certified foot surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle surgery. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. For concerns regarding common foot problems do not hesitate to contact us today!