Flat feet in children is usually a difficult condition to recognize when they're very young, since baby fat often hides the true shape of the foot. As months go by and as the toddler enters walking stage, the situation becomes more obvious. As the child ages, it is normal for an arch to appear between 4 and 6 years of age, commonly being developed by walking barefoot on bumpy terrain. This develops ligaments, muscles, and tendons. If a normal arch does not appear during this stage of development, then it could become necessary to look into the use of orthotic shoe inserts to prevent lower body or back problems from occurring later in life.
A good way to test if a foot arch is developing is by using a wet blotter. With this technique, you make a footprint of your child's damp foot on colored paper. Then you check if the foot arch leaves a noticeable gap. It is also possible to do this on a beach, or in a sandbox by looking at the foot impression, however the blotter test is much more telling. Another symptom of flat feet is if the child complains about aches to his or her calf muscles or ankles after walking for a period of time, as flat feet during childhood can cause additional strain on ankles and calves to counteract the deficiency of arches in the feet. In some cases, a child may walk on the outer edges of his feet, and this is often mistaken for bowleggedness, when in reality it is a consequence of over-pronation caused by flat feet.
The excessive rolling inwards of the ankles and feet, also known as pronation, and resulting breakdown of the arches is found in up to 70% of the population. Over a period of time, over-pronation, in addition to foot pain will also cause back problems, and also leg problems. Many people fail to realize how appropriate foot, leg and back alignment are related, and it is important to correct any foot problems such as childhood flat feet to prevent further lower body health complications.
It is recommended to identify flat feet in early life as soon as possible to prevent ensuing complications later in life. It is possible for adults of any age to develop flat fee, though in many cases it is considered as a normal part of aging,. Flat feet may be caused for reasons such as illness, injury, or pregnancy, and can be permanent or temporary, depending on the reason. Being overweight can also cause flat feet in adults or children.
Foot conditions such as flat feet in early life can be corrected to prevent serious complications like plantar fasciitis and avoid damage to ankles, calves, or lower back. A good measure of prevention is through the use of orthotic shoe inserts. A foot specialist (podiatrist) should be able to examine the symptoms and advise proper treatment, which could include orthotic shoe inserts or foot exercises, depending on the severity of the problem. In many cases, standard orthotic shoe inserts products available on the Internet or at retail stores, can provide the needed arch support, without the need for expensive custom-made orthotics or other aids available via prescription.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to flat feet in early life is that early detection can preclude many serious complications to other body parts such as the knees and lower back over time. It is easy to treat flat feet in early life through readily available and affordable orthotic shoe inserts.Flat Feet in Children - Diagnostic and Treatment Using Orthotic Insoles
Fred Salomon is a foot health care specialist with professional and commercial ventures in the podiatric industry, including foot care products and foot health treatment options. You can find in-depth foot care information and orthotics treatment options at his http://www.footminders.com website.