Flat feet in children: Most feet have an arch on the inside of the foot; however, some children have flat feet, also known as fallen arches or pes planus. Often children with flat feet have family members with flat feet too. All babies and most toddlers appear to have flat feet due to their “baby fat” which disguises the developing arch. Flexible flat feet are considered normal at these developmental ages, however children who have rigid or stiff flat feet may have a more serious problem. The arch on the inside of the foot may begin to develop at age 2 and should be developed by age 7.Flat feet can limit athletic ability in children and sometimes can cause pain or a tired feeling in the legs. Treatment options for flat feet in children varies; from no treatment being required, to footwear advice and sometimes orthotics. Come and see North Queensland Podiatry for a realistic diagnosis and treatment options to suit your budget.
Flat feet in adults: Flat feet, or fallen arches, are a fairly common foot condition, affecting an estimated 20-30% of the general population. Just like the name suggests, flat feet are diagnosed when the arch of the foot is collapsed so the whole foot rests flat on the ground. About 10% of the population have inherited flat feet while the rest of the cases are acquired through the environment. Having misaligned, flat or tired feet rapidly promotes the stress that is placed on other joints such as the ankle, knee and hip. This is because these joints try to ‘pick up the slack’ left by the misaligned, flat or tired feet. The main cause for concern is over pronation (foot rolling inwards). This can result in uneven weight distribution when running or walking and can result in arch, ankle, knee or leg pain. Flat feet in adults cannot be cured, but the pronation can be reduced by customised orthotics (insoles) and/or good footwear. Good footwear and/or orthotics provide support for the foot and encourage correct foot function, the foot will rest more naturally on the ground hence reducing pronation and reducing the stress on the ankle, knee and leg. If you are concerned about your flat feet, come and see North Queensland Podiatry for customised orthotics (insoles) and footwear advice. North Queensland Podiatry has solutions to suit your budget, book an appointment today.