Flat foot is something which cannot be detected at the time a baby is born. Generally, all children are born with flat feet. The arching on the foot starts developing in children after about they become two years old. It may be a gradual process but if by the age of sixteen or so it persists, it is a permanent feature of the foot. There is no remedy to correct this. It may be painless and harmless but in some adults it may cause discomfort and pain. Having Flat feet may be also a cause for a person developing an inferiority complex. In certain jobs like the armed forces, police having this problem may be cause for disqualification even at the recruitment stage.
Children who are going to have flat feet when they grow will show some symptoms even in their childhood. A bulge on the inner side of the foot just below the ankle bone may be considered as an indication. The children’s shoe will also develop a deformity. It tends to develop a bulge inwards over the heel. The shoes get worn down on the inner side.
So far the real reasons for the development for the flat foot have not been found out. Only possible causes are being discussed. One such cause may be the slow development of muscles in children in the process of walking. Adults may have flat foot due to a number of reasons like excessive walking. Standing continuously without any movement for a long time is also a cause for flat foot. Carrying weights is also another cause. None of the above reasons can be said to be the real cause for causing flat foot but it has been found that if one takes care to avoid all the things mentioned above development of flat foot, could in a majority of cases be averted.
There is no specified treatment to correct this foot problem. Children are encouraged to walk so that the leg muscles develop and the foot may develop properly. In the case of adults standing on toes and exercising may help to correct the deformity. Still, it cannot be said to be a definite corrective measure to change the flat foot into curved one. Except for the psychological impact on certain people, this problem is generally ignored and consulting a doctor is rarely known. However, if there is pain it is always good to consult a doctor.
The doctor may advise and arrange for physiotherapy. It is done to strengthen the muscles of the feet. There is no guaranty that physiotherapy will cure flat foot. He may also suggest using arched supports inside shoes, to help shape the foot to have the necessary arch, which is the common feature of a normal foot. Special shoes have been developed with this object in mind. These shoes are provided with a wedge on the inner side. All these measures are aides to change the flat foot to form a curve and look normal.
Children encouraged to walk and exercise from childhood may not develop flat foot when reaching adult hood. Providing proper shoes, not become obese, avoiding unnecessary strain on feet are precautionary measures.