In children under 2 years of age, flat feet are due to underdevelopment of ligaments and muscles. In place of the arch of the foot, the child has a fat pad, which acts as a shock absorber when walking.
The correct shape of the foot is formed from 2-3 to 6 years old. Flat feet can occur if the ligaments in the foot are too weak. Violation of the arch of the feet can also be congenital – the pathology is indicated by the specific location of the bones, which cannot be confused with the physiological state.
Flat feet develop due to insufficient or excessive load on the foot. At risk are children who do not exercise much, do not consume enough vitamins and nutrients, and who are obese.
Incorrectly selected shoes provoke flat feet, for example, if a child wears shoes “for growth”.
How to identify flat feet at home
Parents may not notice flat feet in children. The state may not give itself out. Often, an appeal to a doctor becomes belated, when the shape of the foot has already been formed incorrectly. You should be alarmed if the child:
- Tires quickly. Kids refuse to walk, prefer sitting on a bench to active games with children. This condition can be observed already from 2 years old – then one can suspect the beginning flat feet in children.
- Complains of pain in the feet, lower back or knees.
- Limps after long walking.
- Wears shoes unevenly. The sole is erased only from the outside or inside.
Diagnostics of flat feet
If you consult a doctor with a child’s complaints about pain, fatigue, then you will be assigned additional examinations:
- Podography. Measurement of the plantar surface of the feet using a special apparatus. Allows you to identify flat feet, as well as scoliosis and changes in the hip joints.
- X-ray. Determines not only the presence, but also the type, as well as the degree of flat feet in children.
- 3D scanning. A modern research method that creates a detailed image of the foot in all projections.
Most often, flat feet are diagnosed upon admission to school when passing a medical commission.
Danger of flat feet for children
In a child at 3 years old, one can find the prerequisites for the development of flat feet. And by the age of 6-7 years, this condition is aggravated. In the absence of correction, flat feet can be harmful to health.
First of all, the spine suffers. A child with flat feet from 7-8 years old develops scoliosis. This is due to the fact that the foot is formed incorrectly and changes the gait, and, as a consequence, the vertical axis of the body.
As a result, the spinal column becomes incorrectly positioned. Flat feet in children lead to problems in the knee and hip joints – they are rearranged to compensate for the misalignment of the foot.
As a result, the shape of the legs may change, acquiring an X- or O-shaped outline.
Flat feet in children is dangerous because it starts as a slight deviation, but becomes a serious problem. Therefore, undergo routine examinations with your child annually, starting at 4 years of age.
Gymnastics and massage
Massage for flat feet in children is effective, as it improves blood circulation in the tissues of the foot, relieves ligaments and muscles. Passive foot movements, pressure during massage stretch the ligaments, make them more elastic, and restore muscle tone.
As a result, a muscular corset is formed, which puts the foot in the desired position.
Normal massage movements:
- squeezing the foot from the sides (not strong);
- abduction and adduction of the foot (the child should not make an effort).
Entrust the massage to a specialist, especially if the child has had a ligament rupture or foot fracture. If you want to practice at home, then get a flat feet mat for children.
It has a massage effect – it affects the active points of the foot, increases blood circulation and corrects the violation of the arch of the foot.
Exercise therapy for flat feet in children
Gymnastics with flat feet in children is considered one of the most effective methods. If you do the exercises regularly, the muscles and ligaments will strengthen, the blood supply will increase, as a result, the correct position of the foot will begin to form.
The basic set of exercises for flat feet in children:
- Rolling from heel to toe for 1-2 minutes. Movements should be smooth.
- Walking first with support on the outside of the foot with the knees spread wide, then on the inside (the knees are tightly pressed).
- Using your toes to lift small objects off the floor.
- Rolling a tennis ball in a circle with feet on the floor (the child sits on a chair so that the soles completely touch the floor).