A common condition of the foot structure, flat feet, is caused by an undeveloped arch of the foot. While infants and toddlers lack arches in their feet, the structure continues to develop through adolescence and is fully formed by adulthood.
Those with flat feet, or over-pronation, lack the development of arches and their ankles cave inward.
While most people with flat feet have little to no issues with it throughout their lives, some may develop what is called painful progressive flatfoot. This happens when the tendon becomes inflamed, stretched, or torn. If left untreated, it can cause chronic or debilitating lifelong pain.
Treatments include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), ice, physical therapy, bracing, taping, and orthotics. Early treatment is important to prevent chronic problems.