Flat feet is when the whole foot is in contact with the floor in standing, rather than the inner (medial) arch of the foot being raised. Flattened arches can lead to knee and hip pain and balance difficulties. Children under the age of five or six normally have no visible medial arch because it is hidden by a ‘fat pad’. This fat pad is gradually absorbed as the child begins to stand and Walk.
Physiotherapy treatment will help improve your childs foot position, reduce pain and allow your child to continue with the activities at home or school that they enjoy.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination of your child’s foot and observe the child in standing and sitting positions. If an arch form when the child stands on his toes, then the flatfoot is flexible and no further tests or treatment are necessary. If pain is associated with the condition, or if the arch does not form on standing on toes, then X-rays are ordered to assess the severity of the deformity. A computed tomography (CT) scan is done if tarsal coalition is suspected and if tendon injury is presumed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recommended.
If your child does not exhibit any symptoms your doctor may monitor your child’s condition as they grow to assess for any changes. If, however, your child has symptoms, your doctor may suggest some of the following non-surgical treatments.