1 in 5 Asians have flat feet
What's “flat feet” or “pes planus”?
Typically, in a non “flat-footed” individual, the arch of the foot is usually raised off the ground when the person is standing. If the foot arch is low or nonexistent, the person is said to have “flat feet” or sometimes, “fallen arches”.
What are the consequences of having "flat feet"?
Flat feet may put a strain on your muscles, ligaments and joints, which may cause pain in your feet, legs, hips and back when you stand or walk. Furthermore, individuals with flat feet may develop tired or aching feet after prolonged periods of standing or walking.
Some people will not experience any discomfort and may not even know they have 'flat feet". Nobody know how lucky the child will be when he grows up.
What treatments are available?
Like all health related issues, it’s important to recognise the problem as early as possible since its severity tends to worsen with time. Early treatments tend to be less invasive and are often associated with better outcomes than treatment at more advanced stages.
Improvement may be achieved in a number of ways. First line of treatment is non-surgical. Orthopaedist will advise specific exercises, orthopaedic approved shoes and if such shoes are not available insoles and orthotics. The last resort is surgery.
The key point is - prevention is better than treatment. Choose orthopaedic friendly good quality shoes to lower the risk of any feet problems.
Can I protect my child from having "flat feet"?
Typically, the arches of children may not fully develop until the age of 10, therefore it can be difficult to assess whether they have a flat foot until this age. It is these crucial years when the right shoes can play a big difference.