Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


Is it bad to be flatfooted? My father was kept out of the military for it. I have it, too. It doesn't seem to bother me.


When the foot rolls inward and the natural arch flattens out, it's called pronation. If your foot pronates too much and it's noticeable, you may be called by the more common term of flatfooted. Mild pronation usually isn't a problem. When bone on the inside edge of the arch (the navicular bone) drops 10 mm or more, it's considered severe pronation.

Severe pronation can lead to changes in the foot. The foot can become unstable. Ligaments and muscles can get stretched out. Painful conditions of the lower leg can occur. Most cases of flat foot don't cause any symptoms. More people seek help for how it looks than for how it feels.

Belinda Lange, BSc, B Physiotherapy (Hons), et al. The Effect of Low-Dye Taping on Plantar Pressures, During Gait, in Subjects with Navicular Drop Exceeding 10 mm. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. April 2004. Vol. 34. No. 4. Pp. 201-208.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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