One of the most common reasons people present to podiatrists is for the treatment of Flat Feet.
A flat foot can be described in many ways, fallen arches, rolled in ankles, or over pronated. This type of foot is relatively common in children. Many children with flat feet remain symptom-free for many years. However, in many cases if this foot type continues through to adulthood, it may become symptomatic and can be a causative or contributing factor for many other foot problems. If in doubt have our professional staff check it out.
Excessive or inappropriately timed pronation (rolling in) can result in overuse injuries and fatiguing muscles.
The Flat foot type forces the muscles of the leg to work harder than if the foot had the stability of a constant arch. This may in turn lead to leg or lower limb pain.
The foot requires a certain level of pronation (rolling in) to walk, function efficiently and absorb shock for the body. In addition, the foot requires an equally important amount of supination (rolling out) so that it can propel the body forward as we walk. It is normal for children to lack this ability to form an arch whilst standing, as the bones in their feet are not completely developed. Therefore they lack the normal structure of an adult foot.
Kids feet don't look like adult feet! From birth to around the age of 8 years, flat feet are considered to be relatively normal. During this time a noticeable arch should begin to form.
Kids often don't complain of pain or sore feet! So it pays to be alert. Take note if the child is presenting with pain, is tripping or unsteady on their feet, or if they seem to be fatiguing faster than other children. Also note if their toes are clawing onto the ground, or you notice they are overly flexible. Any one of these symptoms is generally considered reason enough to undertake a thorough assessment by one of our highly qualified podiatrists. If you have any concerns get it checked out!
A note about growing pains - An increasing number of children are diagnosed with growing pains by well-meaning practitioners. Please consider having your children's feet checked. It is our opinion that many times growing pains may be able to be stopped by simply looking at how your child walks or runs and treating any imbalances.
A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care has had extensive experience in this area and success in its treatment.
Signs and symptoms for parents to watch out for:
- Foot or arch pain
- Tripping or falling
- Muscle fatigue or soreness
- Hip pain
- Back pain
- Clawing toes
- Ankle sprains/ injury prone
- Growing pains
- Children not willing to participate in sport or normal activity
- General fatigue
What can we do for you?
Resolution of pain is most often achieved through a combination of treatment modalities.
Treatment may include:
- A kid friendly walk/run assessment
- Kid specific orthotic or insoles therapy
- Footwear advice
- Stretching exercises
- Strengthening exercises
- Deep connective tissue massage