Flat feet are a unique condition of joint misposition through either genetic predisposition or joint laxity. Specifically, the ligaments and bones in the ankle and foot shift so that the weight of the body is no longer held evenly over the heel and forefoot through ligament tension and bone alignment. As the ankle collapses to the inside, the bones in the midfoot shift bearing more and more weight through ligaments that are not sufficient for the stress. In this position of pronation, the stress to the structures here contributes to both ligament and joint surface changes that further feed into collapse of the arches in the feet.
For many, flat feet do not pose any limitation or threat to orthopedic health. They are able to adapt and continue developing unimpeded. For those that have pain or orthopedic limitations, there is great success in correcting this condition with the use of orthotics, strapping, stretching and exercise. The key is to identify the condition early and apply an appropriate intervention with regular assessment to be sure the condition is being addressed.
Treatment for flat feet of children requires good assessment to determine the structures and deficiencies that contribute to the condition however most commonly involve bracing, orthotics, proper footwear selection, stretching and exercise. Our well trained therapists have great success with this condition and in many cases can help to eliminate any mechanical faults at the ankle.