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What to Do if Your Child Has Flat Feet?

Flat feet refer to a condition in which the arches of the feet collapse and can flatten when weight is applied, leaving the entire sole in complete contact with the ground. Around 26% of adults are estimated to suffer from flat feet. Though flat feet are generally not a concern, they can be uncomfortable and even lead to additional issues unless addressed.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to provide your children with relief from flat feet pain. In this blog post, you'll learn eight ways to relieve your children of the discomfort of flat feet. Read on to discover simple solutions for this common condition.

What is flat feet (pes planus)?

Flat feet, also known as Pes Planus, are where the arch collapses, and the foot appears flattened when standing. This condition is most common in children but can also develop in adults. Common symptoms include pain and swelling in the feet and ankles. 

Flat feet can cause problems such as bunions, shin splints, and even back pain if left untreated. Taking preventative measures to improve foot strength and stability may also help reduce the symptoms of flat feet.

What are the causes of flat feet?

The causes of flat feet are varied but can include underlying medical conditions, improper footwear, weakened muscles, and other lifestyle factors. Let's take a look at the various causes of flat feet.

  1. Congenital/genetic factors

Flat feet can be inherited from genetic influences that cause the foot to have decreased arch support. In this case, flat feet are usually present at birth or develop shortly afterward. 

  1. Injury

Injury to the tendons that run along the inside of the foot and ankle can cause tearing and weaken the arch, resulting in flat feet. 

  1. Overuse/strain

Strenuous activities that place a lot of stress on the feet, such as running, dancing, or participating in sports, can result in muscle fatigue and a potential arch collapse.

  1. Age 

As people age, they can lose the elasticity in their tendons, leading to flat feet. This is because the tendon, which supports the arch, decreases its ability to stretch as people age.

  1. Footwear

Wearing improper footwear, such as shoes that are too flat and have inadequate arch support, can contribute to flat feet and cause the arch to collapse over time. 

  1. Obesity 

Obesity can cause extra weight and strain on the foot, which may lead to arch collapse and the development of flat feet. 

  1. Diseases 

Flat feet can be caused by diseases or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or a neurological problem. Flat feet are usually not inherited in these cases but can develop due to the condition. 

What are the common signs and symptoms of flat feet?

A flat foot is a condition in which the arch on the inside has flattened and the entire sole of the foot is in contact with the ground. Common signs and symptoms of flat feet include:

  1. Pain in the heel and arch and, at times, in the ball of the foot.
  2. Pain in the ankle, knees, hip, or back and strain in the surrounding muscles and bones.
  3. Reduce range of motion, making walking difficult.
  4. Difficulty standing for long periods of time due to pain and discomfort.
  5. Difficulty wearing shoes due to flat feet.
  6. Discomfort when climbing or descending stairs
  7. Poor posture, creating a stooped-over or hunched-over appearance.
  8. Stress and strain on the feet lead to swelling in the feet.
  9. Painful deformities like hammer toes or bunions may develop due to flat feet. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you must consult with a doctor to get a complete examination and determine an appropriate treatment plan. Flat feet can be managed and treated effectively with conservative measures such as rest, stretching, orthotics, lifestyle changes, and exercises.

8 Solutions for flat feet in kids

Flat feet in kids can be a source of frustration and even worry for parents. However, some solutions may help relieve discomfort and improve their child’s mobility. Here are eight solutions for flat feet in kids:

  1. Orthotics

Orthotics, specifically arch supports or insoles, can provide extra cushioning and arch support for their little feet. Orthotics may be recommended by your doctor.

  1. Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy can help strengthen the muscles around the feet, improving their tone and flexibility. This, in turn, can help improve the feet' alignment.

  1. Regular exercise

Regular exercise can help improve the feet' strength, tone, and alignment. Swimming, walking, or cycling are all excellent exercises to try.

  1. Footwear

Choose footwear that offers support and cushioning for your child’s feet. Look for supportive shoes with flexible soles, as well as supportive sandals.

  1. Spine alignment

If your child has flat feet, there may be an issue with the alignment of the spine and/or pelvic area. Visiting a chiropractor for adjustments may help to resolve this issue and ease the flat feet.

  1. Massage and stretch

Light massage on the feet can be a beneficial way to ease tightness and improve circulation. Having your child stretch their feet regularly can help keep their arches healthy.

  1. Footwear inserts

If you don’t want to purchase orthotics, inexpensive foam inserts can be placed inside the shoe to provide extra cushioning.

  1. Arch support

Wearing arch support insoles can help provide arch support and decrease pain. You can find these at most drugstores and some major retailers.

Discover foot relief in Florida

If you’re looking for the best and most trusted podiatrist in Miami, look no further than Florida Foot & Ankle! Our highly-trained team of podiatrists provides the best care and treatment options to help your kids maintain healthy feet. From orthotic shoe inserts to custom foot braces, we understand the unique needs of successfully treating flat feet in children. 

We have locations throughout South Florida, and our specialists serve the Greater Miami Area, including:

  • Miami-Dade (Miami, Kendall, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables)
  • Broward County (Hollywood, Pembroke Pines)
  • Palm Beach County (Boca Raton)

Here are just some of the many services we offer:

  • Routine foot care, injury, and trauma
  • Foot and ankle surgery
  • Heel pain
  • Children's feet
  • Nail and foot fungus
  • Diabetic foot and ulcer care
  • Sports medicine

Visit our office today and give your kids the best chance at keeping their feet healthy and strong!


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

8200 NW 27th St
Suite 108
Doral, FL 33122
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