It is rare to find someone who walks with both feet in perfect alignment. Often we walk on the inside or outsides of our feet, or with our toes or heels rotated inward. These typical walking patterns can cause many problems not just with the feet but also for the whole body as the alignment of the feet sets the foundation for the whole body’s alignment. One of the most common effects of improper alignment is known as flatfoot, or fallen arches.
Also known as fallen arches, the condition of flat feet is characterized by a lack of appropriate arch in the inner foot. It can be a genetic condition or the result of improper body mechanics. Often the whole of the foot will contact the ground. Because a healthy foot is structurally able to support the weight of the body thanks to the bone structure that comprises the arch, a flat foot often is unable to properly support this weight and will cause extreme pressure in the joints above, such as the ankles, knees and hips.
Often left untreated, flat feet in children can lead to serious foot conditions later in life. Flat feet are difficult to distinguish in young children until the arch develops between ages six and nine. Some eventually outgrow the condition. Those who don't frequently complain of calf pain, cramping or fatigue, and parents notice collapsed arches and ankles that turn inward. Left untreated, childhood flatfoot can lead to arthritis and other foot problems as adults.
There are several treatment options, including shoe modifications, orthotic inserts, physical therapy, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications and surgery.
If you or your child have flat feet, you may also experience pain throughout the lower body and into the lower back. Orthotics can be prescribed to create a system of support for the body and recreate the arch in the foot. These may be completely covered by some insurances including Medicaid for children 18 or under. Contact us today at 208 785-6700 to discuss which treatment options may be right for you.