Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
No treatment is necessary for flatfeet if you aren't experiencing any pain.
If your flatfeet are painful, your doctor might suggest:
- Arch supports (orthotic devices). Over-the-counter arch supports may help relieve the pain caused by flatfeet. Or your doctor might suggest custom-designed arch supports, which are molded to the contours of your feet. Arch supports won't cure flatfeet, but they often reduce symptoms.
- Stretching exercises. Some people with flatfeet also have a shortened Achilles tendon. Exercises to stretch this tendon may help.
- Proper shoe wear. A structurally supportive shoe may be better tolerated than sandals or shoes with minimal support.
Surgery is not performed solely for the purpose of correcting flat feet. Surgery may be performed for an associated problem such as a tendon tear or rupture.
- Adult (acquired) flatfoot. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00173. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Flexible flatfoot in children. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00046. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00166. Accessed May 31, 2012.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 31, 2012.