Flat feet refers to the position of the feet when one is standing.
There are many causes of flat feet from congenital such as bone and tendon positions to acquired such as cerebral palsy and trauma. As the heel rolls inwards and the arch collapses pronation occurs.
The foot normally pronates as the foot comes in contact with the ground while walking. This pronation allows for shock absorption and to adapt to the ground. If too much pronation occurs during normal walking then tendons and joints are forced to work abnormally and can lead to pain and potential injury.
Flat feet, over time, can lead to several painful conditions that can be addressed early on by proper evaluation and treatment by a podiatrist.
Flat feet in children can be a normal variant however the degree of excessive pronation is important as is determining the cause.