Flat feet are common in childhood and tend to correct themselves. But you should consult a specialist if there is pain or severe changes in gait.
O flat foot it is characterized by the decrease or absence of the inner arch of the foot, with sinking of the plantar vault and valgus deformity of the hindfoot, that is, when the entire sole of the foot is in contact with the ground. This is a frequent situation in childhood, which usually corrects itself without the need for any external intervention.
However, it should be said that there are two types of flat feet. The flexible one, which is the most common, does not cause pain and does not require treatment. And the rigid, which is less frequent, can cause pain and is caused by the incorrect position of the foot bones. Get to know more about this condition.
Flat foot or flat foot: know all about this condition
In most situations, flat foot is a transitory condition, very common in childhood (up to around 10 years of age), but which tends to correct itself, reverting to a “normal” foot, that is, a dynamic plane.
When the child’s foot rests completely on the floor, without an internal arch, we are facing a flat foot that can result in some changes in gait, such as frequent falls, wear of shoes or rotation of the feet while walking.
Faced with this situation, which, as we have already said, is recurrent, it is worth assessing whether the feet, although flat, denote being flexible and thus have a good prognosis for evolution, or whether their tendency is to become feet. rigid. A good way to distinguish between these two situations is to see if the foot behaves normally when the heel lifts off the ground.
In children with flat feet, it is only recommended to use appropriate footwear, with rigid buttress. In addition, it is essential that the shoes are comfortable, flexible and non-slip. When possible, the child should be allowed to walk barefoot.
There may be several factors at the origin of flatfoot, such as musculo-ligamentous alterations and bone alterations, which can persist into adulthood and cause pain, also due to the appearance of arthrosis.
In addition, there are changes in other parts of the body that can interfere with the positioning of the foot, as is the case with deformities of the knee or hip. It is for this reason that, not infrequently, flatfoot only manifests itself from the age of 50 or 60, through episodes of pain and progressive changes in the hindfoot joints. In these situations, surgery may be recommended.
If there is a significant change in the gait pattern and there is pain (in the feet or ankles), it is important to schedule an appointment with a specialist. The doctor, by observing the foot with a podoscope, is able to assess the type of deformity and see whether or not it will correct normally.
Even so, interventions on the feet of children are rare, being performed only when there is pain or diagnosis of a progressive and rigid flat foot.
Regardless of whether or not you have flat feet, it is important to preserve the health of your feet as much as possible. For this, it is advisable not to wear shoes that are too flat, in order to avoid overloading the lower lumbar area.
Thus, the shoes must be spacious, flexible, with low heels, light, ventilated and with good adhesion to the ground. For greater comfort, you can also place an orthopedic insole inside the shoe.
Even those with flat feet (or any other type of problem or deformity in the foot) should try to lead a normal life and do activities like running or jumping, always respecting their pace, of course. It is equally important to set aside time to rest.
There are also exercises with the feet that can be considered especially therapeutic, such as going up and down stairs, walking barefoot, walking on tiptoe, walking on uneven ground, such as sand, and climbing uneven terrain.
All these exercises help to strengthen the muscles and ligaments and contribute to improving the position and arch of the feet.