A child of 3 years old can find the prerequisites for the development of flatfoot. And by 6-7 years this state is aggravated. In the absence of correction, flatfoot can be harmful to health.
First of all, the spine suffers. A child with flat-footedness develops scoliosis from the age of 7-8. This is due to the fact that the foot is formed incorrectly and changes the gait, and as a result – the vertical axis of the body. As a result, the spinal column acquires the wrong position. Flat feet in children leads to disturbances in the knee and hip joints – they are rearranged to compensate for the incorrect position of the foot. As a result, the shape of the legs may change, acquiring an X- or O-shaped outline.
Flatfoot in children is dangerous in that it begins as a minor deviation, but becomes a serious problem. Therefore, go with a child scheduled examinations annually, starting with 4 years.
Treatment of flatfoot in children
The examination reveals the nature of the foot changes – violations of the longitudinal or transverse arch.
And according to the results prescribed treatment of flatfoot in children.
- Orthopedic treatment. Depending on the situation, the child is prescribed fixing of the arch of the foot and ankle with plaster, wearing orthopedic insoles or special shoes. With complicated flat-footedness, alignment of the length of the legs and restoration of the position of the knees with the help of orthopedic equipment can be shown.
- Drug therapy. In children, it is rarely used and is auxiliary. Vitamins and minerals, digestive enzymes are prescribed. With changes in the joints, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Gymnastics and massage. Most often, it is possible to cure flat feet in a child with the help of these methods.
- Surgical intervention. If treatment of flatfoot at home is ineffective, there is no result from exercise therapy. Plastic arch of the foot may be assigned. The operation is performed for children who have reached the age of 10 years. The surgeon shortens and moves the ligaments, forming the correct arch of the foot.
Gymnastics and massage
Massage for flatfoot in children is effective, as it improves blood supply in the foot tissues, relieves ligaments and muscles. Passive movements of the foot, pressure during massage stretch the ligaments, make them more elastic, restore muscle tone. As a result, a muscular corset is formed, which puts the foot in the desired position.
Conventional massage movements:
- squeezing the foot from the sides (slightly);
- abduction and adduction of the foot (the child should not make an effort).
Entrust the massage to a specialist, especially if the child has a ligament rupture or a foot fracture. If you want to study at home, then get a flat-mat rug for children. It has a massage effect – affects the active points of the foot, increases blood circulation and corrects the violation of the arch of the foot.
Exercise therapy for flatfoot 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, eventually the correct position of the foot will begin to form.
Basic set of exercises for flat feet in children:
- Rolling from heel to toe for 1-2 minutes. Movement should be smooth.
- Walking first with support on the outer side of the foot with knees wide apart, then on the inside (knees tightly pressed).
- Using the toes to lift small items from the floor.
- Riding a tennis ball in a circle with your feet on the floor (the child sits on a chair so that the soles completely touch the floor).
Prevention of flatfoot in children should not be a one-time “action” from case to case. If the child is at risk, reconsider the lifestyle. Provide:
- Balanced nutrition. The child should consume animal and vegetable proteins in sufficient quantities. Useful low-fat varieties of fish, dairy products.
- Active leisure. Reduce the time the child stays at the computer and TV to the minimum. Take a walk in the fresh air, play sports with the whole family.
The right shoes are important. It should correspond to the child’s age and foot size. Often, flat feet in preschool children occurs after wearing substandard sandals. Choose shoes with a stiff but flexible sole, the heel should completely cover the heel and reach the Achilles tendon. From 3 years old, a child needs shoes with heels no more than 1 cm tall.
In children under 2 years old, flatfoot is due to underdevelopment of ligaments and muscles. At the site of the foot arch, the child has a fat pad, and it acts as a shock absorber when walking. The correct shape of the foot is formed from 2-3 and up to 6 years. Flat feet can occur if the ligaments of the foot are too weak. Violation of the arch of the feet can also be congenital – the specific location of the bones indicates pathology, which cannot be confused with the physiological state.
Flatfoot develops due to insufficient or excessive load on the foot. At risk are children who move a little, use insufficient vitamins and nutrients, and also suffer from obesity. Provides flat feet incorrectly chosen shoes, for example, if the child wears shoes “for growth”.
How to identify flat feet at home
Parents may not notice flat feet in children. The state can not give out. Often the call to the doctor becomes late, when the shape of the foot is already formed incorrectly.
It should be alarmed if the child:
- Quickly tired. Kids refuse to walk, prefer to sit on a bench active games with children. Such a condition can be observed already from 2 years – then one can suspect incipient flat feet in children.
- Complains of pain in the feet, lower back or knees.
- Limps after a long walk.
- Wears shoes unevenly. The sole is erased only from the outside or the inside.
Diagnosis of flatfoot
If you go to the doctor with the child’s complaints of pain, fatigue, then you will be assigned to additional examinations:
- Podography. Measurement of the sole surface of the feet on a special machine. Allows to reveal flat feet, as well as scoliosis and changes in the hip joints.
- X-rays. Determines not only the presence but also the type, as well as the degree of flatfoot in children.
- Three-dimensional scanning. Modern research method, which creates a detailed image of the foot in all projections.
Most often flatfoot is diagnosed upon admission to school when passing through a medical commission.
Opinion of Dr. Komarovsky
Evgeny Olegovich Komarovsky focuses on the types of flatfoot. So, anatomical or congenital flatfoot can not be corrected by conventional methods, pathology can be corrected only with the help of surgery. If the bones, muscles and ligaments are correct, but they do not work as expected. There is always a reason for this that can be eradicated.
The famous pediatrician believes that the arch of the foot is formed by 8-10 years. And, according to Komarovsky, flat-footedness in children does not occur if the necessary conditions are created. It is important that the child receive physical exertion, be able to run and walk barefoot on uneven surfaces, wear good shoes of the correct size.
The doctor is in a hurry to calm the mummies who have found flat feet in very young children – this condition is natural and does not need correction. Komarovsky is sure that massage to eliminate flat feet up to 4-5 years is more likely psychotherapy for parents.