Non-Surgical Treatment Options For Flat Feet In Children

Health & Medical Blog

Babies are often born with flat feet. According to the Children's Health Network, the arch of the foot does not generally develop until after 3 years of age. If your child's flat feet are not causing any pain or stiffness, treatment may not be necessary. When symptoms do occur, your child's podiatrist may recommend some non-surgical treatments to reduce or resolve the symptoms. Here's a look at the most common non-surgical treatment options.

1. Wear Proper Supportive Shoes

Wearing supportive shoes when you have flat feet is crucial to prevent the symptoms from worsening. Children with flat feet should never wear shoes that do not provide proper foot support, such as flip-flops, high heels and sandals. These types of footwear do not provide the foot any lift through the arch, which can exacerbate the problem. Choose a brand of walking or running shoes with stability control.

2. Use Orthotic Devices Or Bracing

Various orthotic devices or foot braces can be used to give the arches the support they need. Ask your child's podiatrist about using ankle braces or having a custom orthotic device made to fit your child's shoe. Custom inserts help to support the foot and ankle while walking and standing and can improve balance, performance, alignment and comfort. Custom arch supports can also provide shock absorption when walking or running.

3. Undergo Physical Therapy

Some children with flat feet can benefit greatly from physical therapy. During physical therapy, your child will attempt a wide range of exercises and stretches designed to strengthen the feet and increase flexibility. Strengthening the muscles that are weakened by flat feet is extremely important in the pain management process.

4. Maintain A Healthy Weight

If your child is overweight, he or she is placing excessive pressure on the muscles, tendons and tissues in the feet, which can cause pain and discomfort. Ensure that your child follows a nutritional diet and exercise regimen to help him or her maintain a healthy weight. Consult with a pediatric nutritionist for help if your child suffers from obesity.

5. Ask About Cortisone Injections

Cortisone shots can be helpful in alleviating symptoms of flat feet, but will not correct the structure problem. These injections contain powerful anti-inflammatory medications that rapidly reduce the inflammation responsible for pain. Ask your child's podiatrist about regular cortisone injections to help manage your child's pain or stiffness.

If your child has flat feet, he or she may benefit from various non-surgical treatments. For more information about treatment for flat feet, contact a local podiatrist, like those at Foot & Ankle Care Center PA.  


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