How To Identify Flat Feet In Children

Every parent wants the proper development of their children. In this sequence, it is important for all parents to know how children grow and how abnormalities can be detected in them. In this article, we will talk about flat foot disorder which hinders the development of children. This is a very common problem in children between 1 and 5 years, which resolves on its own with time. We will know how to identify flat feet in children and why this problem of flat feet occurs.

What is a Flat Foot (flat sole) in Children

If we look at a normal foot, the part between the toes and the heel is raised from the ground, which is called arch. When this arch part of someone’s sole is flat, it is known as flat foot. The problem of flat feet can appear in one or both feet. For your information, let us tell you that at the time of birth, the sole of every baby is flat, but as the baby grows, the gap between their heel and toes starts rising upwards, that is, an arch is formed. By the age of 5 to 6 years, an arch is formed in the feet. The soles of some children remain flat, we will try to know its types and reasons further.

Types of Flat Foot in Children

Although many types of flat soles have been considered, but here we are telling about the main types-

1. Flexible Flat Foot

This is considered to be the most common type of flat foot. In this condition, the arch is visible in the soles of the feet only when the foot is lifted from the ground. By placing the feet on the ground, the arch disappears completely and the feet start touching the ground.

2. Tight Achilles Tendon

There is tissue in the foot called Achilles tendon which is found in the muscles of the feet and legs. When these become hard or swollen, the feet may become flat.

3. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction

This type of problem is seen in older children when the tissue connecting the heels to the calves gets broken or swollen. In this condition, there may also be pain in the soles and legs.

4. Congenital Vertical Talus

This is a congenital disorder in which a bone called the talus starts developing in the wrong direction in the foot and prevents the arch from forming. It is also called Rocker Bottom Foot.

Let us now know what are the symptoms of flat foot in a child.

Symptoms of Flat Feet in children

If your child’s feet are flexible and you are able to see the arch when the child stands on his feet, then there is no need to panic. If your child’s feet are stiff and the arch is not visible, then you need to pay attention, it could be a case of flat feet. Other symptoms of flat foot are-

  • eddy bow out
  • difficulty walking
  • Pain and extreme tenderness in knees and feet
  • Poor leg development
  • difficulty doing physical activities

Causes of Flat Feet in Children

Although the soles of all children are flat from birth, but with increasing age they start changing in shape. If the soles remain flat even with increasing age, there can be many reasons behind this. Some of the main causes of flat feet in children are as follows –

The problem of flat feet in children can occur due to the following reasons-

  1. If a child’s weight increases too much, he may have the problem of flat feet.
  2. Sometimes two or more bones start developing together in the feet, and join together.
  3. When the tissues of the feet start becoming loose, the arch is not able to form, which causes the problem of flat feet.
  4. Children with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Marfan Syndrome may also have the problem of flat feet.

What Kind of Problems Can a Child Face Due to Flat Foot

It is very important to solve the problem of flat feet in the child, because due to this he may have to face a lot of problems in future like –

  • Flat feet causes the child’s muscles to become weak, and pain may begin.
  • The child may have trouble walking properly due to this problem.
  • Having flat feet for a long time can worsen the child’s posture.
  • Due to flat feet, the child may suffer from joint pain in future.
  • There can always be a possibility of injury due to the child’s loss of balance.

Diagnosis of Flat Feet in Children

Doctors understand the problem of flat feet in many ways, some traditional methods and some scientific methods are also included.

1. Traditional method of flat feet examination or visual examination

  • If a child has the problem of flat feet, then the soles of his shoes wear more in the middle. By looking at the child’s shoes and slippers, the doctor can guess that the child’s feet are flat.
  • Many times the doctor stands behind the child and tries to see his toes. Children with normal feet have only the smallest toe visible, whereas children with flat feet can see about 3 toes.

2. Medical examination of flat feet

If the child has severe leg pain, the doctor may conduct the following tests:

  1. Anthropometric Assessment: Through this method, the disease is detected by measuring the height, angle and rearfoot angle of the arch.
  2. X-ray and CT scan: Using this technique, photographs of the bones of the foot are taken. Then the defects are detected through photographs. Then treatment is started accordingly.
  3. MRI test: Through this, clear images of bones and tissues can be obtained, so that the doctor can know where the problem is.

Flat foot testing can also be done at home. Come, let us know its method.

How to Self-Diagnose Flat Feet?

Flat foot can also be detected by yourself, which is as follows:

For this, just wet the child’s feet and make him stand on a flat surface. After this, remove him from there. If the lower part of his foot is completely visible, then it may be a sign of flat foot. At the same time, those who have an arch in their feet, only part of their toes and heel are visible.

Treatment of Flat Feet in Children

There are two types of treatments used to treat flat feet. Surgical and nonsurgical. Here we first know what are the options in non-surgical treatment.

1. Non surgical treatment

  • Medicines and instruments: Doctors can give medicine to reduce pain in children. You can also be advised to wear shoes according to the condition of your feet. It needs to be noted here that this problem goes away gradually in children. In such a situation, make the child practice with patience.
  • Physical Therapy: Stretching is a good exercise for such children, which provides relief from pain to a great extent. Doctors conduct physical therapy sessions and make children exercise. Parents will have to take care that their practice does not stop. Give them support and love during this time.
  • Orthotic device: Orthotic devices, which help support the structure and arch of the foot, are recommended. Although such devices are not a permanent cure, they can definitely help in reducing pain.

2. Surgical Treatment: If the problem is serious, doctors recommend surgery. During surgery, doctors join one or more bones in the ankle. Also, if the tendon needs to be lengthened or replaced, it can be done. Keep in mind that doctors always adopt surgery as the last option. Before this, treatment is attempted only through non-surgical methods.

Home Remedies for Flat Feet

There are some methods with the help of which this problem can be fixed to some extent by yourself. Just keep in mind that before doing any home remedies, definitely consult your doctor.

1. Shoe: Wear shoes according to the size of the child’s foot.

2. Learning: Children with flat feet suffer more from pain, due to which they are unable to walk and play. In such a situation, whenever there is pain, apply ice there.

3. Exercise: There are some stretching exercises, which can be adopted to remove the problem of flat feet. Let us know here what these exercises are (11):

4. Toe Exercise In this, a cloth is spread on the ground and held and released with the help of the thumb.

5. Tennis ball or cane rolling: Do the cane or tennis ball rolling process 3 times in 1 minute. People with flat feet may be more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. In such a situation, this exercise can be beneficial. There is a band-like thick tissue in the lower part of the foot, which is called plantar fascia. Inflammation in this tissue is called plantar fasciitis.

6. Towel Curl: Wrap a towel around your foot and pull the arch towards you. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and do it again after taking some rest.

7. Arch Lifting: In this exercise, ask the child to sit on a chair. Place the right foot on the left thigh. Tie the band on the right leg and tuck its other end under the left leg. Now pull the right leg upwards with the help of hand. After doing this for some time, do the same process with the other leg. This can be done 3-4 times in a day.

8. Yogasana: Yoga for children can also reduce the pain of flat feet. Utkatasana, Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana and Tadasana can be beneficial in this. Just keep in mind that in the beginning these yoga asanas should be done only under the supervision of a good trainer.

9. Balanced Weight: Children who suffer from obesity have more pain in their legs. In such a situation, the problem of flat feet can be relieved by reducing obesity.

It is clear from this article that flat feet is a common problem in children, which can get cured on its own with time. If this is not the case, then it should be treated at the right time. Parents should just keep a close eye on the physical changes of their child. With awareness, the problem of flat feet can be got rid of in time. Hopefully, reading this article would have helped in removing the questions and confusion arising in your mind.

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