What is Flat Feet?
A lowering or collapsing of the longitudinal arch in the foot.
Symptoms of Flat Feet
A functional flat foot is quite common and can result in symptoms ranging from sore or tired feet to general leg fatigue, body aches, and pain. There is a positive correlation between flat feet and symptoms involving foot pain, leg pain, knee pain, hip pain and lower back pain.
Excessive pronation (feet ‘rolling’ inwards) causes the arch to collapse and elongate, making the foot appear ‘flat’.
Flat Feet Treatment at Galleria Podiatry
Controlling excessive pronation with orthotics (custom-made shoe inserts) prevents the feet from ‘rolling’ inwards during walking. This prevents ‘unlocking’ of the 33 joints in the feet, which is often the cause of painful symptoms in the pes planus foot type.
A podiatrist can advise you on stretches that can be of benefit.
Flat Feet in Children
While flat feet can occur in adults, it’s particularly common in children, many of whom outgrow it as they age.
What causes flat feet in children?
- Developmental Factors. Children are often born with flat feet and develop arches as they grow. In some cases, the arches never develop.
- Genetic Factors. Family history can play a role; flat feet can be inherited.
- Medical Conditions. Some conditions like cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or connective tissue disorders can cause flat feet.
- Improper Footwear. Shoes that do not support the arch may contribute to the development of flat feet.
Diagnosis is usually straightforward and involves a physical examination of the foot and watching the child walk. Imaging tests like X-rays are generally not required but may be used in certain cases to rule out other conditions.
No treatment is generally needed if flat feet are not causing any discomfort or problems with function. However, if a child experiences symptoms, treatment options may include:
- Orthotic Inserts. Custom-made arch supports can be used in shoes.
- Physical Therapy. Exercises to stretch and strengthen the foot may be helpful.
- Supportive Footwear. Shoes with good arch support and a well-cushioned sole can be beneficial.
It is important to consult a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of flat feet. Consider consulting a podiatrist experienced in treating children for specialised pediatric foot care. If you’re in Morley, Galleria Podiatry offers expertise in handling pediatric foot conditions.
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