Flat feet in children
Flat feet. Under the age of 3, 3-4 out of 10 children are affected. But it is normal: "The lack of the arch is often just a passing situation and, with the growth, the arch of the foot assumes its normal curvature", reassures the Dr. Gaetano Pagnotta, president of the Del Paesena Society of Pediatric Orthopedics.
"In the foot of the little ones, the plantar arch is hidden by the fat. The curvature is evident with growth: in the first years it is only necessary to monitor its development. It is advisable to schedule a visit to a pediatric orthopedist only if, after the age of 3-4, the arch is still absent. To understand this, it is enough to observe the imprint that the child leaves on the sand when he walks, but above all the position of the heel while the child is standing with his back to his shoulders, barefoot. If the foot is not arched as it should, the heel will fold inward. "
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In this article
- Corrective insoles
Physical activity is the best cure
"The first medicine to stimulate the development of the arch of the foot is to let the child run and play in the open air and, when he is older, make him practice sports, such as athletics, minibasketball, swimming, or bicycle, which favor the development of cavizing muscles, or those from the knee down: if toned, they are able to support the arch of the foot ", explains the expert." Ok even for little ones daily exercises such as walking on the toes, on the heels, on the outer edge of the foot, or picking up objects from the ground with the fingers ".
Orthotics can help
I corrective insoles (tailored and prescribed by the specialist) can be useful, but they do not work miracles: they should be used from 3-4 years, they help realign the heel and give support at a time, but their effectiveness is subordinated to the fact of wear them for several hours in an upright position. And unfortunately, between school commitments and other sedentary activities, the hours that children spend standing are not many.
The arch can therefore remain flat even at the age of 12, but if it does not cause pain and does not limit the adolescent's normal recreational and sporting activities, it represents only an aesthetic problem, which one can live with for a lifetime. "Only if it is a source of pain or fatigue, surgery becomes necessary," advises the expert.
- flat feet
- 1-2 children years