People with flat feet have a variety of symptoms, such as neuromas, seasmoiditis, and hip pain among other things. We diagnose this type of foot as either a mild pes planus (mild flat foot) "Type B," moderate pes planus (moderate flat feet) "Type D," or severe pes planus (severe flat foot) "Type F."
There are three different types because treatments vary depending on the severity of the case. For example, giving someone with severely flat feet an orthotic meant for mild flat feet will not be effective. Giving someone a with a mildly flat foot an orthotic for severe flat feet would cause pain and incorrect gait. A podiatrist can determine the exact degree of your flatfootedness.
Flat feet may be painful, but they usually aren't. The problem with flat feet is primarily what they do to your gait and posture. If your feet are pronating (rolling inward) there will be unusual stress points on all of your joints the rest of the way up: ankles, knees, hips, spine and neck. If you have unresolved, chronic joint pain in particular areas, orthoics are an important option to consider. We carry several different types of orthotics in our office, stop by to get checked by Dr. Gibson if you have questions about what's right for you.