3

votes

To treat or not to treat childs fallen arches/flat feet.

Answered on February 09, 2015
Created December 01, 2012 at 12:12 AM

I need a little advice please regarding my sons fallen arches. he is 10 years old, tall & lean. His joints have more play than average (as in they hyperextend a little) but he's strong, can walk, climb, sprint, jump..etc comfortably like any other child, he likes walking barefoot on the odd outing too. I noticed he had flat feet from an early age but never worried about it until now, i reluctantly took him to see a podiatrist as he walks a bit springy on his toes, it's not too pronounced but it is there. They noticed the play in his joints & immediately 'prescribed' arch supports which i wasn't completely comfortable with. He had them in for 2 days & constantly complained that they were uncomfortable so i removed them, i'm aware that these would take some adjustment before becoming comfortable & this is my dilemma. Do i make him wear them even though his physiology has adjusted to his flat feet & hope he gets used to them, or do i just let him carry on as he is without the intervention & walking barefoot when he likes. Like most people here i'm not a massive fan of the medical industry & would love to just leave him be, but i am aware flat feet can cause foot, knee, hip & back problems in the future & this this a worry for me, i obviously don't want my scepticism of the medical industry to interfere with his progression in life. It's starting to play on me more & more so any advice wold be much appreciated. Thanks.

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 10:59 AM

I have flat feet too and it was never a problem until I was 23 and working an office job, at which point they started to cause knee and hip pain. I had orthotics for a while, but found that barefoot shoes and making a point to walk around barefoot at home and especially outside on dirt/grass/sand was what fixed me. (After, of course, a painful adjustment period when all my muscles were learning to readjust)

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(925)

on December 04, 2012
at 09:34 AM

thank you Luisa for your great input, i will definitely let him carry on as he is after your input, you have put my mind at ease. =o)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 01, 2012
at 06:24 PM

Why orthodotics? They'll just make his feet weak since the muscles won't have to work. Probably end up clumsy. Why not just let him walk barefoot as much as possible, and on a variety of surfaces including rocks and jumping tree branches, wear toe shoes when he's out and about, then just some comfortable shoes for school? Why force his feet to become misshapen like other kids?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 01, 2012
at 06:06 PM

It's just, all the people who say to me "oh, you have really flat feet, doesn't it hurt?" (no, never have) they have really cramped feet, it's what's normal nowadays but it's misshapen feet. My feet are the ones that look as nature intended, not theirs. I don't wear the torture shoes that they do, therefore my feet are still normal and healthy. Sure, when I try to wear pointy women's heels, my feet don't fit because my feet haven't been misshapen by shoes to fit into torture devices. Good excuse not to torture myself :) Lucky your kid is a boy so he won't have this "problem".

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 01, 2012
at 05:54 PM

26 yr old woman, never had pain from my flat feet. Funny, I think my feet are normal and people who have high arches have them because they wear modern torture devices... errrm.. I mean, shoes. Like your son, I'm pretty "handy" with my feet, like a monkey in a jungle. When I have children I'm letting them walk barefoot or with Vibrams all the time so they have flat feet like me. From my experience the more "tortured" the feet look (modern feet) the more pain the person has. I don't want children with modern feet, the feet everyone says are normal but are not!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 01, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Meh, don't vote for my crazy Google-fu. I'm always happy to forward along links I find, was an interesting read even if I happen to have sexy arches. ;) The pictures of flat feet I found, wow, I had no idea!

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(925)

on December 01, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Thank you Matt, i would mark your answer as useful but i can't yet. I'm a fan of Mark Sisson, his book & site is where i started my journey towards good health, i missed this post though. Your info is appreciated. =o)

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8 Answers

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 01, 2012
at 01:33 AM

Mark Sisson blogs about everything on his site, and no surprise, he has blogged about flat feet and what to do about them. See: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/flat-feet-treatment

Not an answer, but info.

C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

(925)

on December 01, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Thank you Matt, i would mark your answer as useful but i can't yet. I'm a fan of Mark Sisson, his book & site is where i started my journey towards good health, i missed this post though. Your info is appreciated. =o)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on December 01, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Meh, don't vote for my crazy Google-fu. I'm always happy to forward along links I find, was an interesting read even if I happen to have sexy arches. ;) The pictures of flat feet I found, wow, I had no idea!

2
9c4ba98a3b480408bcf207f558fe659b

(355)

on December 01, 2012
at 05:13 AM

I have very, very flat feet. They have never been painful. If the bone and cartilage is strong and there is no soreness or pain I wouldn't worry.

Calf stretches prior to exercise may help prevent plantar fasciitis which is a risk for those with flat feet. I would welcome the advice of an experienced podiatrist to assess the degree of 'flatness' and maybe an annual visit to keep an eye on things.

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 10:59 AM

I have flat feet too and it was never a problem until I was 23 and working an office job, at which point they started to cause knee and hip pain. I had orthotics for a while, but found that barefoot shoes and making a point to walk around barefoot at home and especially outside on dirt/grass/sand was what fixed me. (After, of course, a painful adjustment period when all my muscles were learning to readjust)

1
B7e1ad6bb9ab814b8e90bdad4a472d5e

on December 01, 2012
at 05:43 PM

Okay I used to work as a ski boot fitter. You have small arches and still have good feet. it all just depends on where the foot arch collapse when you flex forward. So get your kid in front of you and have him flex his knees forward if they start to move towards each other that is not good of course have him stand in a straight line. That means his foot arch is weak but if he flexes forward to knee Move in a straight line and that's Great. Another test you can do is take your little finger and placed it underneath his foot arch at the flex forward to about the point where his knee would be over his big toe. you will feel a slight pressure on your finger do not panic! It's only when you feel like he has his entire weight on your finger or you can feel the arch of the foot bed move dramatically then that is not great. If the kid wasn't complaining about his feet hurting then they are fine.You can always take him back and asked for them to be shaven down. And the fact that your son is running around on his toe is a good thing that's how gymnasts train to strengthen their feet. A big warning sign would be him running around sounding like he's smacking the ground with his feet.

1
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on December 01, 2012
at 05:23 AM

Definitely corredt fallen arches. I used to have them. Make sure his shoes have good arch supports or wear the insoles, but I heard that if left untreated fallen arches can be painful if not serious

1
966abd1869f4ce6db6b7acb9046ba12e

(18)

on December 01, 2012
at 04:05 AM

Try physiotherapy to correct the fallen arches. I have had orthotics since I was your son's age. Whilst I have other health problems like arthritis, a lot of my pain is caused by my very flat feet. The physio told me orthotics make your muscles lazy and I am now embarking on a very intense physio program to correct the knee, ankle, foot and hip pain caused by the flat feet - really hoping that switching these muscles back on will reduce the pain! I still wear my orthotics as my feet are too flat not to have them, but combining it with exercises to ensure the muscles don't switch off is the way to go in my opinion.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 01, 2012
at 06:24 PM

Why orthodotics? They'll just make his feet weak since the muscles won't have to work. Probably end up clumsy. Why not just let him walk barefoot as much as possible, and on a variety of surfaces including rocks and jumping tree branches, wear toe shoes when he's out and about, then just some comfortable shoes for school? Why force his feet to become misshapen like other kids?

0
57058bc0ed41063c274ff45608483732

on February 09, 2015
at 06:57 AM

I don't think there's anything to worry about.  If you still feel that you have to do something about it, then probably you should go for consulting a chiropractor. There are good ones at Toronto's Physiomed. I have taken physiotherapy treatments from Physiomed and therefore came to know about the other services they provide.

 

0
C4deaa6bb01626b4569e8992890381ab

on December 02, 2012
at 06:26 PM

Thank you all ever so much for your answers, i've read through them all & have gained some good info off you guys. I have decided to let him carry on as he is for now as he doesn't have any discomfort or limitation in his activities, i will keep a close eye on him & any signs of this becoming a problem i will push for physio. Much appreciated everyone!!

0
1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

on December 01, 2012
at 06:12 PM

There's a tai chi standing exercise which can help this (if there is a problem at all - maybe there isn't). Basically you stand with the feet about shoulder width apart (or maybe a bit more) but with the feet parallel - don't let the toes point out. Knees should be soft (bent slightly) and fairly wide, i.e. over the feet. Getting him to a tai chi class to get the opinion of the instructor might be useful. Or any martial art, those guys are used to bare feet, body alignment and so on. You could get him to go to a class for a while and don't mention the feet - see if the instructor says anything or if the exercise changes anything.

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