The arches of the feet may vary among us all. Young children often do not have an arch (to bluntly put it) as it manifests usually between the ages of three and ten. People with a low arch profile, or no arch are said to have flat feet. On occasion this may be referred to as “fallen arches”, though as most of these people always had a low arch, the term is incorrect. Your podiatrist can prescribe an insole or custom orthotic should your flat feet be causing you any discomfort or pain.
In many cases, that is just the shape the foot is, often running in the family.
The feet may roll in excessively when standing or walking often referred to as “pronation” as these individuals are said to have an “over-pronated foot”. Due to the rolling in of the middle of the foot, the heel usually points outwards more than normal, as does the front of the foot. These individuals may have lax joints in general. This may be the reason why young children develop the foot arch later in life as children have more supple joints than adults.
Possibly. It often depends on the reason for your feet being flat and the general mechanics of your lower limb. Flat feet often tend to run in the family.
Individuals with flat feet often get or are prone to getting aching or pain in the arch, the ankle or under the ball of the foot, though this may occur in individuals with “normal” arches also. Individuals with highly over-pronated feet may wear shoes out very quickly on one side.
Consider consulting your podiatrist when:
In some cases, no treatment is needed as the flat feet cause no trouble. Most people whose flat feet hurt or ache will feel better in well-fitted shoes with an insole or custom orthotic, which prevent your feet rolling over and over-pronating, this can help a lot. This can be provided by your podiatrist following video gait analysis to examine the way in which you walk and stress the areas of the arch or foot which are painful.
Young children who have a flat foot because it has not developed naturally may need to straighten the foot or to separate fused bones via surgery. This is a rare cause of flat foot and most children have mobile flat feet which do not require surgery, and occasionally an insole or custom orthotic is used because of pain.
People with flat feet due to a disorder of the nervous system may need special insoles, shoes or braces to support their feet or legs.
A flat foot secondary to a damaged tendon or arthritis may be treated with pain-killers and an insole or custom orthotic in the first instance.If this fails an operation to straighten their foot may be indicated.
The only reason to treat your child’s feet would be if they cause discomfort, pain or wear out their shoes very quickly. In this case, modern practice would usually be to advise an insole or custom orthotic that fits inside the shoes.
If you feel that you may have any of these conditions or would like further advice on the treatment of your foot pain please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org