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Hypertension and obesity are risk factors of flat feet. Tips to keep in mind | Health

Having flat feet is determined by the way the underside of your foot connects with the ground and the presence of space beneath your feet, where your arch bears the weight, is crucial. If most or the entire underside of your foot touches the ground while standing, it indicates that you have flat feet.

Hypertension and obesity are risk factors of flat feet. Here are tips to keep in mind (File Photo)
Hypertension and obesity are risk factors of flat feet. Here are tips to keep in mind (File Photo)

Flatfeet typically does not cause any symptoms for most people. Nevertheless, some people with flat feet may undergo foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area as engaging in activities can intensify the pain and there is a possibility of experiencing swelling along the inside of the ankle.

According to health experts, the factors leading to flat feet are obesity, hypertension, pregnancy, diabetes, trauma to the feet, genetic factors, weak arches, foot and ankle injuries, arthritis, tendon overuse and developmental anomalies in childhood, with age or after pregnancy hence, those with flat feet must consult the doctor and seek timely intervention.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Prithaviraj Deshmukh, Orthopedic Surgeon and Pain Management Specialist at Nexus Day Surgery Center in Mumbai, shared, “Hypertension is one of the risk factors for flat feet as it causes posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. Since your arches support the weight of your body and act as shock absorbers, any factor that opposes these crucial biomechanical functions can heighten the likelihood of developing fallen arches or flat feet. The presence of excess weight or obesity places additional stress on your arches, thus amplifying the probability of acquiring flat feet. While some individuals with flat feet may not feel any discomfort initially, the long-term effect can be an excessive burden on the joints, bones, muscles, and tendons of your foot. This can lead to inflammation in the arch and ankle. Additionally, the lack of stability may contribute to pain in the knees, hips, or lower back. Having a flat foot leads to Posterior Tibial tendon dysfunction which means unbearable foot and ankle pain making it difficult for you to walk or do any activities with ease. It is better to visit the doctor and seek immediate help.”

Dr Abhishek Kumar Mishra, Orthopedic Surgeon at Apollo Spectra in Delhi, revealed, “Flat foot is a condition where the arch of the foot collapses and the entire sole touches the ground while one is standing. There is an association between hypertension, obesity, and flat foot. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, causes damage to blood vessels throughout the body including those in the feet. This can lead to the decreased blood supply to the muscles and ligaments that support the arches of the feet, ultimately resulting in a flat foot. Obesity also plays a significant role in causing flat feet. Excessive body weight puts enormous pressure on all weight-bearing joints including the feet. Over time, this constant stress weakens and stretches out the tendons and ligaments in our feet causing them to lose their elasticity and leading to flat feet. One may also encounter Posterior Tibial tendon dysfunction which invites joint and ankle pain and one will further be prone to injuries.”

Tips to keep in mind:

Taking care of one’s overall health is essential in preventing not only hypertension and obesity but also related complications such as the flat foot. Health experts recommend that regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight while improving cardiovascular fitness which reduces both obesity and hypertension risks. Similarly, eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables helps control both hypertension and weight gain. Maintaining good posture through exercises like yoga and incorporating activities that strengthen muscles around you may help prevent or alleviate symptoms of flatfoot.

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