THE BLOG
06/14/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

"Oh My God! I Have My Parents' Feet..."

Can I blame it on mom, dad, aunts, uncles or my grandparents?

Many of us as we get older begin to realize that our feet are starting to look like one of our family member's. Yes, it can be mom's, dad's or perhaps your grandparents'. My patients often tell me they remember their parents having the same problems that they are now experiencing, but have no clue how it developed. Well if you look at your parents, aunts, uncles or your grandparents' feet, you may find that they are similar to yours. Yes, flat feet, high arches, heel spurs, bunion deformities and hammertoes can be hereditary. We all have a genetic predisposition to different types of problems that our biological family has had. It does not mean you will acquire the problem. It just means the possibilities exist.

So if your kids have flat feet, high arches or bunions, it probably came from you or another family member. As an adult heel spurs and hammertoes can develop. Flat feet are caused by abnormal pronation where the arch of the foot collapses and can lead to bunion deformities, hammertoes, plantar fasciiatis, heel spurs, feet that fatigue or cramp and low back pain. Everyone's feet pronate, however some individuals' feet flatten out too much and that is when we can develop these types of problems. High arches can lead to other problems such as ball of the foot pain, as well as, heel spurs, claw toes and plantar fasciiatis.

So, you do not have to look far to figure out why your feet may hurt or why you have developed a mysterious lump or bump.

The good news is that even if you have developed foot problems throughout your life, there are many solutions to make them feel better. It may be that you simply have to support your feet using orthotics. Products such as Instant Arches, over the counter foot supports and professionally made orthotics are some of the ways to keep your genetics in check. Foot surgery is another solution. Foot surgery is usually the last resort after all conservative options have been explored.

To help with the discomfort that comes with some of these foot problems, over the counter ice products such as Cool Soles, or other ice packs can be very helpful to take the heat off your feet.

So, if you ever have any doubts of weather you were adopted or not, just check your parents' feet!