Flat Feet Treatments For Children
At the Ledbrook Clinic, our Orthotists provide orthotic assessment and treatments for flat feet in children including foot orthotics to control and prevent flat foot (pes planus) for the growing foot.
What are flat feet?
The sole of the foot has an arch on the inner side (instep) that extends from the heel to the base of the big toe. Feet are termed flat when they do not have this arch.
Children’s feet are growing and it is our experience that proper care in early life, supporting but allowing normal function gives the best start to good posture and walking patterns in adulthood. Children’s feet are not the same as adults and most infants appear to have flat feet but this is normal and a normal arch will appear by the age of five or six.
Children come to see us because of excessively flat feet, in toeing and tripping, knock knees or bow leg, and these children often have trouble in keeping up with their friends, complaining of pain and discomfort in the calf or shin. This can be due to over pronation, or flat foot as the child stands.
If by the age that they start school, a normal arch has not developed we provide flexible support to encourage normal growth and good muscle action which will help to ensure the development of a firm base for walking, activity and sport as your child grows.
Recognising flat feet in children
When a child has flexible flatfoot – the kind that needs no treatment – we can see an arch in the foot when the child stands on tiptoe or lets the foot hang down.
When children have rigid flatfoot, which may cause problems, we usually cannot see an arch even when they stand on tiptoe.
If children have pain, it is usually focused on one spot in the foot. It is not a general, achy feeling.
Solutions for the flat foot
Stretching exercises, supervised by the Orthotist or a physical therapist, provide relief in some cases of flatfoot.