Foot Health: Don’t let children get caught flatfooted; arch collapse can cause problems | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz
As you look at your children running around, it is the ideal time to focus on their foot health and well-being. Remember, it’s not normal to have pain in your feet, especially for a child.
One of the most common foot structures that can cause problems for children is flat foot, also known as pes planus. This is a condition in which there is abnormal collapse of the arch when standing. This causes excessive strain on the soft tissues and joints of the foot and ankle, which in turn, can cause pain and affect the way in which your child is able to function over time.
It is also common to have children complain of knee pain due to their abnormal foot structure, as you can imagine, if your foundation (your feet) is not functioning correctly then that affects the joints up the chain (your knees, hips, lower back).
Here are some early signs of flat feet:
1.Is your child 5 yrs or older? Any younger than this it is normal to have a flattened arch. It is around age 5 that you should start to see an arch form
2.When you look at the back of your child’s heels as they stand, do the heels tend to angle outward, with bowing of the Achilles tendon?
3.Does your child complain of foot, knee or ankle pain during or after activity? Or wake up in the middle of the night with these complaints?
4. Does your child tend to have early leg fatigue or seem to be clumsy with activity?
5. Do you, the parents, have flat feet? If so, there’s a good chance that your child will too since foot structure
is mostly hereditary.
Most parents want the best for their kids and will do what they can to ensure their child’s health and success. However, it’s not always on parent’s minds that if your child’s feet are functioning abnormally, their ability to perform in sports and play outside with their friends can be hindered, and even cause pain.
What should parents do if they suspect their child has flat feet?
It is recommended to have your child evaluated early, even before age 5 if the parents have flat feet. The earlier that your child’s feet are treated, the better the outcome is for improvement in their overall structure over time.
One of the most conservative and effective means of treatment for paediatric flatfoot is custom orthotic therapy. This is done by taking a mould of your child’s foot in what the corrected position should be and from this mould we can make an insert (orthotic) that will fit inside your child’s shoes to wear on a daily basis to keep their feet in the corrected position. The earlier we can start this correction, the greater the improvement in the structure of the feet we can make.
By doing this we can help keep your child active and happy. So remember, if you’re going shoe shopping – take a look at your child’s feet BEFORE you hit the stores. A visit to The Podiatrist may be in order. Some shoes are better than others for flat feet and knowing what to look for will save you time and money.
For all your foot care needs, visit The Podiatrist