Childrens FeetJul 13, 2021
Patients with foot problems come to us in all shapes and sizes from 6 months to 100 years. We love to see kids coming in as they are always smiling and have great stories to tell.
Children come in to South Dublin Podiatry Clinic in 2 main groups, those with chiropody issues like Verruca & Ingrown toenails and those with Bio-mechanical issues like flat feet.
We understand how important it is to make kids feel welcome so we do our best to make sure they never feel overwhelmed.
One of the most common questions we are asked by parents is...
Does My Child Have Flat Feet & Do They Need Insoles?
Flat feet (sometimes known as pronation) is a very common condition that often affects infants or toddlers, as the arches of their feet have not yet developed.
Usually, Flat feet in children do not cause pain and from the age of 2-8 years old, the feet are still in developmental stages. During that time, the fatty pad that lies under the arch is slowly thinning as bones and other tissues start to form and change.
As a result, often kids feet ‘roll-in’ or pronate at the beginning, and kids shoes will have more visible wearing on the inside of their outer soles. This movement of rolling in, or pronation, is completely normal and should not cause any symptoms of pain in the feet or elsewhere up the body.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs Insoles ?
However, if your child pronates (due to flat feet) to the extent that other areas in the body are under extra load or stress, various types of pain can occur. For example heel pain, Achilles pain, knee discomfort and, in some cases, lower back pain.
In these cases, a podiatrist would assess the degree of this dysfunctional movement and may intervene with orthotics (insoles) to correct fallen arches and ultimately try to reduce the amount of pronation causing the child’s pain. Other possible causes of the child’s symptoms will be investigated as it could be a simple sign of growth, e.g. growing pains in legs.
Types Of Flat Feet In Children.
There are two types of flat feet in children, flexible flat feet and rigid flat feet.
Flexible flat feet are identified when the arches of the child’s foot are evident on standing on tip toes but collapse during stance/walking. Flexible flat feet that are pain free do not require any treatment. Painful flexible flat feet can be treated with the use of a simple insole (or arch support) which will relieve the tension under the foot immediately. Insoles for fallen arches are an easy, quick and effective way of treating flat feet. The good thing is that, at the moment, many kids shoe stores offer specific footwear with added arch/midfoot support and can often be treated this way alone.
Rigid flat feet require more immediate attention and your podiatrist will easily distinguish the difference. This condition usually occurs when two or more bones fuse in the foot and is referred to as "tarsal coalition". Limited motion of the child’s feet results in a flat footed posture. Depending on the cause of rigid flat feet, children may need casting, bracing or possibly surgery to relieve symptoms.
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