Some people with flat feet may automatically align their limbs in a way that prevents symptoms. People who are not experiencing symptoms do not usually require treatment.
If flat feet are causing pain, then supportive, well-fitted shoes can help. Extra-wide-fitting shoes can provide relief.
Fitted insoles and orthotics or custom-designed arch supports may relieve pressure on the arch and reduce pain if the feet roll too far inward. However, these products only treat the symptoms and do not provide long-lasting benefits.
People with posterior tibial tendonitis might also benefit from inserting a wedge into their footwear along the inside edge of the orthotic. This should relieve some of the load that the body places on the tendon tissue.
Wearing an ankle brace may also be beneficial until the inflammation reduces.
Doctors may advise some people to rest until their symptoms improve and to avoid activities that might aggravate the foot or feet.
A person with arthritis or a ruptured tendon might find that a combination of an insole and pain relievers can minimize their symptoms. If these do not work, surgery may be necessary.
Some bones do not develop properly in childhood, which can result in flat feet from birth continuing into adulthood. In these rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to separate fused bones.
When obesity is the cause of flat feet, losing weight might improve the symptoms.