Flat Feet: Do They Alway Need Orthotics?
Flat feet are a common occurrence and can contribute to many problems such as knee pain and lower back pain.
I often have parents bring me their kids with flat feet, looking for strengthening exercises. At this point, some have orthotics or a referral to a podiatrist.
But if your growing and developing child has flat feet, do they really need orthotics?
A developing child is often floppy and uncoordinated and so are their muscles and joints.
Some more so than others.
The problem lies in that we take these growing flat feet and strap them into rigid shoes, all whilst they are still growing.
If they have flat feet, they may continue to develop that way, becoming more noticeable when barefoot.
Or they grow out of it as they continue to develop.
What if kids spent more time barefoot?
Walking and running, all while they are growing and developing strength in their foot muscles and the rest of their body.
If your kid has poor posture and poor core stability do you put them in a back brace until they get stronger and less floppy?
No! This would only make them weaker and stiffer!
You would send them to a physiotherapist or trainer to give them exercises to get them stronger! Wouldn't you?
So why then do you put them into orthotics that further limit their mobility?
For some, they may be helpful.
Or you could try getting them out of their shoes, walking and running on soft surfaces like sand and grass to assist the development of proper biomechanics and allow the foot to mature as it was intended.
If you feel your child has an issue with flat feet or that their flat feet are contributing to problems during activity and sport, an assessment will tell us if it is the feet are the source of the problem, or if another area is at fault.
If the feet are to blame, then we can teach them out to use their feet better, so that it doesn’t persist into a long-term problem that plagues them as an adult.
Mention this blog post and receive 50% off your child's initial assessment with Brendan.