Custom orthotics for painful flat feet in children

This latest study in the journal Medicine (Short-term effects of customized arch support insoles on symptomatic flexible flatfoot in children: A randomized controlled trial.) used a variety of measures to show that children with flexible flatfoot wearing customised orthotics for 12 weeks showed significantly improved pain/comfort, physical health, stair ascent time, upper extremity and physical function, and transfer and basic mobility.

We often see the benefits of orthotics in children with painful flat feet in our clinic, particularly while participating in sport. Even when not involved in sport, children with painful flat feet will often have less durability (“staying power”) while on outings with the family or on longer family walks. Many parents often bemoan the fact their children regularly ask to sit down due to tired, aching legs.

While only a small proportion of all children will need foot orthotics, it is important to determine if a child’s foot posture falls outside of what is generally accepted “normal”. Flat feet are quite common in small children, and are generally not a problem unless they are causing pain or affecting general physical development (i.e finding it difficult to run/keep up with peers or achieve developmental milestones). Our Podiatrists also consider if there has been a strong family history of “painful flat feet” when deciding on an individualised treatment program.

The NQ Foot and Ankle Centre offers a wide range of foot orthotic options to suit all budgets. This may range from modified “off the shelf” orthotics to specific custom made devices manufactured using state of the art CAD-CAM milling technology and 3-D printing. In some instances, simple padding and wedging placed in good supportive footwear will suffice.

If there are any concerns regarding your child’s foot posture or general development, our highly trained staff are here to put your mind at ease.