Flat feet in a child do not need treatment if they are not causing pain or walking problems.
- Your child's feet will grow and develop the same, whether special shoes, shoe inserts, heel cups, or wedges are used.
- Your child may walk barefoot, run or jump, or do any other activity without making the flat feet worse.
In older children and adults, flexible flat feet that do not cause pain or walking problems do not need further treatment.
If you have pain due to flexible flat feet, the following may help:
- An arch-support (orthotic) that you put in your shoe. You can buy this at the store or have it custom-made.
- Special shoes
Rigid or painful flat feet need to be checked by a provider. The treatment depends on the cause of the flat feet.
For tarsal coalition, treatment starts with rest and possibly a cast. Surgery may be needed if pain does not improve.
In more severe cases, surgery may be needed to:
- Clean or repair the tendon
- Fuse joints in the foot into a corrected position
Flat feet in older adults can be treated with pain relievers, orthotics, and sometimes surgery.