What are flat feet?
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.
What causes flat feet?
Causes for flat feet include:
- Shortened Achilles tendon (the thick tendon at the back of the heel). A child will usually pronate (turns inward) their foot while walking and running in order to get their heel down.
- Laxity (Looseness) in the Achilles tendon can lead to increased movement of the ankle joint and therefore the foot pronates and flattens more often.
- Muscle weakness – weakness of the deep abdominal muscles and the hip muscles causes a change in posture around the hips and over pronation of the feet.
Physiotherapy for flat feet
If your child is experiencing pain in their leg or hip and is having trouble walking or running they may benefit from physiotherapy treatment. An initial assessment with one of our specialised paediatric physiotherapists will assess your child feet, muscle strength, posture and walking pattern and current symptoms in order to tailor a physiotherapy treatment program which will be focused on:
- Stretching to lengthen tight muscles in the leg and foot
- Activities which are enjoyable for your child to help strengthen the muscles in the foot and the leg
- Exercises to strengthen the abdominal and hip muscles
- Balance training
- Promoting functional and recreational activities
- Advice on footwear, insoles or orthotics to help position the foot better when walking and running
For more information on physiotherapy for flat fleet or to book an appointment please call us now on 0330 088 7800, or book online today!