What is flat feet?
Flat feet is a common condition, also known as flat foot, in which the arches on the inside of the feet flatten when pressure is put on them.
What causes flat feet
Flat feet can be caused by a variety of conditions including injuries, obesity, and arthritis. Ageing, genetics, and pregnancy can also contribute to flat feet. You’re also more likely to have flat feet if you have a neurological or muscular disease such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or spina bifida.
Flat feet in babies
Flat feet are completely normal for a baby! Children have extremely flexible joints and bones that spread out when the child bears weight on their feet. This, in addition to the fat pads on the edges of each foot, gives the flat appearance of the feet.
Babies do have arches but at a young age, the fat pads hide these. If you were to pick up a young child from under the armpits and stand them on their tippy toes, you’d be able to see the arch of the foot.
Did you know that the bones and joints don’t begin to stiffen up until around age 6? As the bones harden, there is not as much spread. Additionally, the fat pads will begin to disappear as the child ages.
However, with this in mind– the younger the foot, the higher potential damage can be done by shoes. As a child has such flexible bones, tendons, and cartilage, it is crucial they have the freedom for their feet to experience a full range of motion rather than being put in a confining shoe that may limit and deform their perfect footsies!
Can flat feet be corrected?
There are different solutions to having flat feet corrected. Surgery may be an option when you have pain that limits your activities after you have tried nonsurgical treatments. Surgery can repair the bone and tendon problems that are causing the pain. But a non-surgical option could be wearing custom-made orthotics, these are bespoke to your feet and can help improve posture and pain.
We would also recommend looking at your footwear, and wearing different shoes daily, this will prevent your feet from never adopting a certain shape.
Stretching and exercise are great ways to keep your feet healthy.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, speak to us about what options are available.