Kids’ Flat Feet: To Treat or Not to Treat?

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TrampolineLet’s face it, kids love to run, jump, and play! It’s evident by the popularity of SkyZone in Parker as well as the X-treme Challenge Arena in Castle Pines. From jumping on trampolines to ninja warrior training, kids of all ages are constantly springing into action. But if your child’s feet are flat, should you be springing into action too? Not necessarily.

We’re all born with flat feet and develop an arch as we grow. However, for some, an arch never forms and feet remain flat. Although this may alter the foot’s ability to absorb shock correctly and can negatively affect gait leading to pain and other problems, in many cases children with flat feet experience no issues at all and grow up just as active as the next kid. They can run through an obstacle course, do a flip on a trampoline, or play hide and seek to their heart’s desire. If your child has an arch that’s permanently hidden no matter how much you seek, more than likely no treatment is necessary.

There are times, however, when I child may complain of foot pain or stiffness and you may notice a limp or lack of desire to participate in usual activities. If this is the case, your child’s flat feet should be treated, but rest assured that conservative measures are typically all it takes. Physical therapy exercises and stretches, as well as shoes that offer plenty of cushion and support, are both helpful. You can also try orthotic shoe inserts designed specifically to fit your child’s needs, providing arch support, shock absorbance, biomechanical corrections, and protection from pressure.

Severe cases of flat feet in children may need casting or surgical intervention, but this is rare. The majority of the time, if your child has no arches, no worries! They will be able to run, jump, and play, at SkyZone, X-treme Challenge, or anywhere else without any treatment or with some simple, conservative methods.

If you are concerned with your kids’ flat feet, give us a call at (303) 805-5156 to set up an appointment. We’ll assess your little one and put a treatment plan in place before you can say, “Ready or not, here I come!”

Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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