One of the most common reasons kids present to podiatrists is for the treatment of ‘Flat Feet’. I personally see hundreds of children a year who have flat feet and require my assistance. It can be a simple problem to under estimate but without the right advice and attention can lead to a life time of problems.
A ‘flat foot’ can be described in many ways, ‘fallen arches’ ‘rolled in ankles’ or ‘excessive pronation’. 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.
For many children the answer will be orthotics which are specially designed insoles that are placed inside the child’s schools shoes and joggers. They are relatively unobtrusive and do not require special shoes to fit – Most times they will fit perfectly inside your Clarks school shoe by simply removing the specially designed removable liner.
When do kids need orthotics?
In my clinic when assessing patients I look for 4 sign / symptoms in children in conjunction with a flat foot before deciding on whether a child needs orthoses.
Pain – If there is any pain present it often means the muscles in the feet and legs are under pressure meaning the bone structure is not able to perform its job and may require assistance from an orthotic to help.
Tripping and falling or general clumsiness – Reports from parents or the child themselves of tripping and falling or general clumsiness are signs that the foots structure and surrounding musculature are not able to support itself as required.
Child fatigues quickly –A child should be able to play all day without pain or the need to sit down for long periods due to fatigue. So to children should be able to happily walk around shopping centers or for that matter a family outing without the need to sit from fatigue after minutes or even an hour.
Growing Pains – There are a terrible amount of growing pains diagnosed by well-meaning practitioners. Please consider having your children’s feet checked. It is my 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 note about “growing pains” There are a terrible amount of growing pains diagnosed. 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. I continue to be impressed and please by the really positive result we are seeing in patients when these imbalances are corrected.
If you child has one or more of these signs it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist. Treatment with orthotics while initially appearing expensive has significant health benefits to children. In times when we are struggling to get our children outside away from computer games. I think ensuring you have a child that is happy and health and able to play happily outside without pain is a must.
By Dr Brenden Brown Podiatrist
Dr Brenden as he is called by kids who visit our clinics is a recognised expert in kids feet. He has a passion for keeping kids happy healthy and active! For this reason Dr Brenden has appeared on dozens of television shows and literally hundreds of media articles. He has proudly spent time as the ambassador for Clarks foot wear – one of Australia’s leading kids foot wear brands. He see’s children with foot and ankle pain in his clinic every day helping get them back to pain free. While Dr Brenden has been recognised world wide for his expertise, he is in fact most proud of being a Dad to two happy healthy fabulous daughters!