Flat feet (pes planus / collapsed arches)

Flat feet are frequently managed by podiatrists at Northern Foot Clinic
  • Do you have a very low inner foot arch?
  • Do you have foot, leg, knee or lower back pain?
  • Do/did your parents have flat feet and or pain?
  • Do you wear out your s​hoes at a fast rate or wear out your shoes unevenly?
  • Do you experience pain or fatigue that restricts you from doing things you enjoy like exercise and standing/cooking?
  • Do you develop annoying callus' or corns on your feet?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it is possible that your foot posture is a problem. Problems associated with flat-feet are NOT difficult to treat.

Important things you should know about flat-feet

Flat-feet (flat inner arches) are a very common variant in foot posture that often cause concern to parents, athletes and people who experience pain in their legs or feet. Many people with flat-arches don't have pain or disability, however others can experience aches and pains and flat arches can lead to some well-recognised injuries such affect the knee and foot. Flat-arches are generally a characteristic that's inherited (i.e. from their parents), however sometimes people develop flat-feet because of tendon problems or some type of accident.

Another important fact to be aware of is that all babies and toddlers have relatively flat-arches. Therefore, when we treat babies/toddlers, we do so with an awareness that the child's arch will change over time and they may well develop a very normal arch.

What will the podiatrists at Northern Foot Clinic do?

  • take a thorough medical and exercise history from you ​
  • examine your knee and surrounding anatomy to establish a diagnosis
  • observe your walking or running gait and evaluate your footwear​
  • determine if your foot posture is a risk factor for the injury/s you present with

What will happen one the cause has been diagnosed?
The podiatrist will:

  • If necessary, offer you treatment options — these recommendations would be based on high quality research evidence and clinical expertise)
  • explain the cost of any treatment option
  • estimate how long it will take you to recover from your problem and make a plan with you to return to full activities

What will happen if I just put up with the pain and see what happens?
If your foot posture is a contributing factor to the problem/s, then these problems are likely to persist unless something changes in the way you load your feet and legs. Sometimes this might involve a short term modification in your exercise routine combined with recommendations for specific footwear and or arch supports.

Where can I find more information about flat-feet?
We recommend the following website (high-quality and independent information for consumers) for more detail about flat feet.

Call Northern Foot Clinic today to arrange an appointment with a podiatrist and get professional treatment for problems associated with your flat feet — (03) 9004 2342

Podiatrists from Northern Foot Clinic have published several research articles in international journals about flat-feet and foot posture. Below is a selection of the titles:

Buldt AK, Levinger P, Murley GS, Menz HB, Nester CJ, Landorf KB. Foot posture and function have only minor effects on knee function during barefoot walking in healthy individuals. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2015 Jun;30(5):431-7.

Buldt AK, Levinger P, Murley GS, Menz HB, Nester CJ, Landorf KB. Foot posture is associated with kinematics of the foot during gait: A comparison of normal, planus and cavus feet. Gait Posture. 2015 Mar 12. pii: S0966-6362(15)

Dowling GJ, Murley GS, Munteanu SE, Smith MM, Neal BS, Griffiths IB, Barton CJ, Collins NJ. Dynamic foot function as a risk factor for lower limb overuse injury: a systematic review. J Foot Ankle Res. 2014 Dec 19;7(1):53

Neal BS, Griffiths IB, Dowling GJ, Murley GS, Munteanu SE, Franettovich Smith MM, Collins NJ, Barton CJ. Foot posture as a risk factor for lower limb overuse injury: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Foot Ankle Res. 2014 Dec 19;7(1):55.

Buldt AK, Murley GS, Butterworth P, Levinger P, Menz HB, Landorf KB. The relationship between foot posture and lower limb kinematics during walking: A systematic review. Gait Posture, 2013;38(3):363-72

Murley GS, Tan JM, Edwards RM, De Luca J, Munteanu SE, Cook JL. Foot posture is associated with morphometry of the peroneus longus muscle, tibialis anterior tendon, and Achilles tendon. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport. 2013 Jan 10.

Franettovich MM, Murley GS, David BS, Bird AR. A comparison of augmented low-Dye taping and ankle bracing on lower limb muscle activity during walking in adults with flat-arched foot posture. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2011; 15(1), 8-12.

Levinger, P, Murley GS, Barton CJ, Cotchett M, McSweeney SR, Hylton HB. A comparison of foot kinematics in people with normal- and flat-arched feet using the Oxford Foot Model. Gait Posture 2010; 32(4), 519-23.

Murley GS, Landorf KB, Menz HB. Do foot orthoses change lower limb muscle activity in flat-arched feet towards a pattern observed in normal-arched feet? 2010. Clinical Biomechanics: 25(7), 728-36.

Murley GS, Menz HB, Landorf KB. Foot posture influences the electromyographic activity of selected lower limb muscles during gait. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2009; 2(35)

Murley GS, Menz HB, Landorf KB, 2009. A protocol for classifying normal- and flat-arched foot posture for research studies using clinical and radiographic measurements. J Foot Ankle Res 2(1), 22.

Murley GS, Landorf KB., Menz HB., Bird AR, 2009. Effect of foot posture, foot orthoses and footwear on lower limb muscle activity during walking and running: a systematic review. Gait Posture 29(2), 172-87.