Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
This may not be exactly up your alley but is it true that you can’t join the Army if you have flat feet? I have always heard that and wondered if it is true.
I have also heard that flat feet would disqualify you from the Army. I have done some checking and it seems to depend on your flat feet. Or to be more specific, if your flat feet bother you. If you are asymptomatic (without symptoms) then you stand (get it?) a much better chance of getting in the Army. If your feet cause you problems then the likelihood of your being accepted is pretty low. Why? Well you have to be on your feet in boots in the army. You have to walk and run in boots. If you have foot problems, you will not be able to physically perform up to the standards.
Did you know that all babies and toddlers have flat feet? Yes, the development of an arch is part of the normal development of the bones, ligaments and muscles. Usually somewhere between the age of 4 and 6 children will develop arches in their feet.
Sometimes, children’s feet do not develop an arch. In that case, if the child is complaining about pain then measures need to be taken. Interestingly enough, the pain caused by flat feet could be in the feet, ankles, or lower legs. When the feet are flat then the alignment for your ankles and legs can be less than ideal and can cause pain.
Also, as you age, you can develop a flat foot or flat feet. They don’t always both flatten! This can be due to age, obesity, a traumatic injury, or arthritis. Sometimes just time and use will cause the tendons to weaken and fall.
Do flat feet necessarily mean that you will have foot problems? No. Some people never have problems with their flat feet. Then others will have problems. If you are having pain and go to your friendly local podiatrist, you will be checked by the doctor and then some tests might be ordered. Depending on the physical exam, the doctor may have you get an x-ray or a CT scan or an MRI. All of these tests will indicate the physical condition of your foot.
The treatments for flat feet that are painful involved the use or orthotic devises and the use of supportive shoes. While exercises for the foot are not especially helpful in this case, you may need some exercises if your Achilles tendon is shortened due to the flat feet. The orthotics and supportive shoes will make a big change for the better.
And by the way, being “caught flat footed” means being caught unprepared in today’s vernacular. It is thought to have originated in athletics when an athlete was caught not prepared – not being “on his toes”.
Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week–What occupation was referred to as a “Flat Foot”?
Find the answer on our Facebook page – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons – on Friday, February 1st. While you’re there, please take a moment to “like” us.
Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning as well.
The very nice doctors at Evanston Podiatric Surgeons have opened a new location! They are very excited to have an office on the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago. So, if live or work downtown, help is even closer! Stop in and say “Hello and Congrats”. They would love to meet you. They are really that friendly!
Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL 60601