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Flat Feet in Children

Almost all of us are born with some sort of distinguishable peculiarities in our body and some are born with flat foot problems. This occurs when there are no or few arches in the foot due to which it presses down completely flat upon the ground.  It is sometimes hereditary in nature but in most cases it develops as we grow.  This condition is very hard to diagnose in little children because of the tiny unshaped bones and soft tissues of their feet. There are only some vague symptoms that indicate that the child may suffer from it but these develop much later. It can cause weakened foot muscles and leg pains as your child’s body matures. Most of the flat feet kids feel no pain or discomfort but if your child does complain of any flat foot pain without an immediate cause in the leg or the foot area you should take consultation from a podiatry clinic. The exact root causes of flat feet in children and adults, except being genetically derived, are a little hard to determine but research has provided us with certain indications.

  • It is said that traditionally, a flat foot is flexible because the arch returns when the children are not standing or putting some kind of pressure on their foot. This takes form when the muscles of the foot are tight or are not properly aligned.
  • The flexible flat foot condition is often found in children who have hyper mobility of other joints in their body. They can flex their joint muscles much more easily than the rest of us can. Flat foot supports can help alleviate this type of condition.
  • The rigid flat foot never forms any arches whether sitting or standing and is constantly and completely flat. Although this is a rare occurrence, it can create future problems with the bones in the foot. This is typically treated with the help of Orthoses which are actually insoles designed to better support the foot and enable the child to go about its normal activities. There are exercises and surgeries that can also help in such cases that may take away the pain incurred due to the flat foot or prevent progressive deformity.
  • Flat foot can also be the result of weakened muscles due to injury or continuous bad posture. Researchers have concluded that children who wear shoes before the age of six are more likely to develop flat feet than children who don’t. Hence, being barefoot is usually the best option for the kids, especially when they are growing up, because tight socks and shoes may damage their semi-formed soft bones. But this is relevant only as long their surroundings are not harsh and they are not exposed to burns and bruises.

Anyhow, so as to conclude, flat foot as a medical condition has not gained much ground but about 20% of the human population have flat feet. Orthopaedic solutions include custom insoles for flat feet or orthotic footwear that helps support the arches of the feet. It can still appear as a problem in some cases especially concerning children. These symptoms can indicate some other undiagnosed issue in the leg muscles or the formation of the bones and may demand further clinical intervention.

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