On a typical foot, the arch extends from the ball to the heel. With high arches (pes cavus), the foot’s sole becomes distinctly convex, curving dramatically inward, when carrying weight. Different biomechanical structures of the foot may be presented as a high arch. While patients with high arches may be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms), many suffer debilitating foot pain. Occasionally discomfort will extend to the back, but this is generally not crippling. High arches can also be accompanied by hammer toe, which also causes pain and discomfort. Ankle arthritis and Achilles tendonitis can surface later in life. The biggest obstacle patients face is a proper diagnosis of their biomechanical structure that need to be addressed by proper conservative treatment, including custom made orthotics and orthopaedic footwear.
Conversely, flat feet are a structural abnormality where the foot’s metatarsal bones are collapsed bringing the entire, or nearly entire, sole to the ground. The foot does not have its usual arch and thus becomes “flat”. Similar to high arches, flat feet can be asymptomatic. However, because of its irregular shape flat feet can cause improper function in muscles, tends and ligaments, resulting in pain, cramping, fatigue and tiredness.
Both high-arched and flat feet are hereditary, each with a unique set of symptoms. Often, orthotics (custom shoe inserts) are made to ease problems associated with these conditions. Patients should ensure their orthotics are made by a chiropodist/foot specialist. Our specialist at B-FOOT clinic, Sulejman Menzildzic who received extensive training and knowledge in Biomechanics through his Master Degree in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo is able to precisely diagnose biomechanical conditions. By using pressure platforms and laser scanners, Sulejman is able to produce accurate orthotics that will correct and/or accommodate the biomechanical structure causing the high or flat arch.