Flat foot (pes planus) describes a reduction or absence of the medial longitudinal arch (the arch located on the inside of your foot), with or without other deformities of the foot and ankle. Flat feet are commonly seen in children as it affects up to 14% of children. Interestingly, flat feet are actually part of a normal developmental process as our foot arches usually develop as we grow. However, if your kids start experiencing symptoms like pain in the feet or legs; easy fatigability in the foot or ankle region, or balance problems, interventions such as orthotics or physiotherapy might be needed.
The arches of our foot allow us to walk and run more efficiently in terms of energy consumption, they are also responsible for dissipating the force during movements. Symptomatic flat feet, if not treated properly, could lead to further complications in the knees, hips, or lower back.
Now we will show you two simple exercises that can strengthen the muscles that stabilize the arches:
1) Toe walking
Walking up on your toes for a minute or two can increase strength in your leg muscles. Perform this exercise daily, a couple times throughout the day.
2) Flexing the toes
Picking up a tissue or small towel by curling your toes. Perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
Did you know our clinic offers custom orthotics to individuals who have flat feet? If you or your loved one is experiencing symptoms of flat feet mentioned above, feel free to book an orthotics assessment with us, we are more than happy to help you!
Reference: Turner, C., Gardiner, M. D., Midgley, A., & Stefanis, A. (2020). A guide to the management of paediatric pes planus. Australian journal of general practice, 49(5), 245-249.