Probably, no one will argue that human health depends on what the parents have invested in it, and to take care of the well-being of the baby should be started at the earliest stages. Flat feet and feet in children often cause flat feet, and it is important to notice and correct this defect in time.
What is it - valgus foot?
From the birth of a child to the moment when he begins to take the first steps on his own, on average about a year passes. Of course, this long-awaited event almost to the tears touches the parents, but it also sometimes brings unpleasant surprises. A child may have a decrease in the arch of the feet and bend the axis of the foot. Orthopedists call such a phenomenon as: flat-feet / valgus feet. In children, they are visually manifested as the letter "X". In this case, the axis, which runs vertically from the shin to the foot, deviates inward, the arch of the foot decreases to complete flattening, and the heels and toes are deflected to the outside. Kids with such disorders get tired faster, prefer to sit, move a little. Examinations at pediatric orthopedists (according to the rules they need to go through at 1, 3, 6, 12 months) make it possible to identify this pathology at the earliest stages.
Causes of development
Ploskalgalgusnaya deformity of the feet in children can be both congenital and acquired. Congenital pathology is laid in the period of fetal development. Most often this happens if the fetus is large and is located, resting against the feet, thereby deforming them. It is diagnosed immediately after birth or in the first months of a child’s life. Acquired flat-valgus foot deformity in children is the result of an underdeveloped ligamentous and tendon apparatus of the child. As a rule, it manifests itself to 14 months, exactly when the baby takes the first steps. The following factors can provoke this defect:
- infections or their consequences (poliomyelitis);
- frequent diseases (they lead to the fact that the baby moves less, and the ligamentous and muscular frame practically does not develop);
- irrational loads;
- walking barefoot on a smooth surface;
- damage or injury to the feet or ankle;
- wrong shoes;
- illiteracy of parents in the prevention of the development of flatfoot.
Of course, while the child is just learning to walk independently, his gait is no different to grace and it is quite difficult to determine by eye that something is wrong. But if the baby has stood up for a long time and has gone, then the following signs should alert the moms:
- the child does not fully stand on the foot, relying more on the inner edge;
- foot becomes X-shaped;
- shuffling gait is noted;
- uncertain steps;
- quick tiredness while walking.
Degree of development
Due to the fact that the formation of the musculoskeletal system of the child ends by about 6 years, such a diagnosis as “flat feet” is not made, replacing it with the term “valgus feet”. If the changes have a pronounced effect, they are talking about flat-valgus deformation. In order to continue to develop into a full flatfoot, these changes need to be identified and started to be treated as soon as possible. That is why up to 6 years of examination with an orthopedist is better to take place every six months. In the case of a valgus foot, depending on the degree of deviation, it determines four degrees of development:
- The deviation is from 10 to 15 °. Such deviations are quite common and easy to correct.
- Deviation from the norm in the interval from 15 to 20 ° will require some effort from the parents, but is also well corrected.
- If the angle of inclination is from 20 to 30 °, then long-term treatment is required.
- A deviation of more than 30 ° often requires surgical intervention.
Before starting treatment, the doctor must confirm the diagnosis and more thoroughly understand the changes that occur in the baby’s foot. To do this, the following surveys:
- podometriya - allows you to detect the presence of pathological changes;
- x-ray - in case of suspicion of flat-valgus feet in children, it is necessary to take pictures of the foot in three projections, but this examination is very rare for babies;
- computer plantometry - the study shows the existing parameters of the feet;
- in some cases, ultrasound of the joints is prescribed for a more detailed examination.
Treatment of flat feet for children
The elimination of this defect depends on the reason that caused it. If the pathology is congenital, the therapeutic measures begin immediately or within the first month of life. In the early stages, it may consist of plaster casts that fix the legs in the correct position. Then prescribed massage, orthopedic shoes and physiotherapy.
If the defect is not congenital and becomes noticeable after the baby has gone, the treatment is slightly different. Consultation with a pediatric orthopedist is the first thing that parents should do if they suspect such a deviation as flat-valgus deformity of the feet in children.
Komarovsky, like many of his colleagues, believes that in most cases this defect can go away on its own and does not need special treatment. The ligamentous apparatus of the child, when he is just beginning to walk, is not yet adapted to such loads. Just think: the weight of a one-year-old child immediately falls on an unprepared foot! It is not surprising that she is not able to withstand it immediately, and flat-valgus feet in children become the result. Treatment in this case will be long and complex, but it consists not in taking medicinal substances, but in the following manipulations:
- foot baths;
- orthopedic shoes;
- physiotherapeutic procedures.
Massage for flatfoot in children
Massage is a necessary element of care, not only in cases where the problem has already appeared, but also as a preventive measure. In general, for the normal development of the child, it is best to start doing it from a month and a half, combining it with developmental exercises and hardening. Massage can be carried out by both a specialist and parents after a short training course. For children who already confidently keep on legs, massage is combined with the course of physical therapy with flat-fusal feet in children. The course lasts a month, after a three-week break it can be repeated.
The child is placed on the stomach so that the feet are out of the table, a cushion is placed under the shins.
- The massage starts from the back, with stroking along the spine from the waist to the neck, and then to the side surfaces. After that, with the tips of the fingers, the muscles need to be crushed and stretched, “drank” them with the edges of the palms or the crests of the bent fingers. Finish stroking.
- The lumbosacral zone is also kneaded from the spine to the sides and down, alternating stroking, rubbing, kneading and stroking again.
- The area of the buttocks is also massaged, starting with stroking and alternating rubbing, drumming (tapping, tapping) and kneading. Cover with stroking.
- The back of the thighs are massaged from the popliteal upward and outward, stroking, rubbing, kneading, tapping, and ending with stroking.
- Impact on the back surface of the lower leg in the presence of such pathology as flat-feet / feet in children requires a more selective approach. Begin the impact with strokes that go from the heel to the popliteal fossa, then it needs to be divided. That part of the muscle, which is located to the outside, is ground, stroked and kneaded, trying to relax it as much as possible. In addition, good results show shaking and stretching. They try to stimulate the inner part as much as possible, using vigorous rubbing, deep kneading, beating and chopping.
- Begin to massage the foot. It is given the position of supination (you need to turn it with the sole inward). The sole is first stroked, and then carefully ground and kneaded, paying particular attention to the inner edge. After that, the child is turned on its back. The roller fits under the knees.
- Massage the front surface begins with stroking the entire length of the leg, and then proceed to massage the thigh. Movements are made in the direction of the bottom, to the outer part and up, making stroking, rubbing, kneading, shaking and stroking again.
- The front surface of the thigh should be massaged using all the above techniques. The direction of movement is from the bottom up and towards the outside. The front surface of the leg is massaged in the same way from the foot to the knee.
- The ankle is massaged, making strokes in a circular motion, then it needs to be rubbed, paying special attention to the inner surface.
- The foot is massaged with one hand, while the other slightly turns it inwards. Apply the techniques of stroking and rubbing apart fingers, focusing on the inner side of the foot and the area of the thumb.
Physical therapy for flat-foot foot in children is no less important than massage. You need to do exercises in thin socks, breaking the complex so that you can perform no more than three exercises at a time, but do several exercises during the day. Exercises for flatfoot in children should be performed daily, but they need to be organized so that the child gets pleasure from them.
- An excellent and affordable exercise that strengthens the muscles and ligaments, is walking on the track. It can serve as a board or a painted strip 15 cm wide. It is necessary to offer the child to pass, without going beyond its limits. On the street, a walkway can successfully replace a log, which is likely to be found on any playground, or a curb protecting a sidewalk. Performing this exercise, you need to ensure that the child correctly put the foot.
- Walking on the outer edge of the foot.
- Rise on socks. It is better to hold it in the form of a game, when the baby first stretches upwards, rising on tiptoes, and then crouches with support on the entire foot.
- Capturing and lifting toes of small objects perfectly develops their muscles, increasing mobility. It can be performed both standing and sitting. Another option for this exercise may be picking up the toes of the fabric.
- The seat “in Turkish” corrects the valgus feet well, and lifting from this position is also a necessary and important part of the exercise. Feet should remain crossed. For the greatest effect, it is better to change them, alternately leaving the right leg in front, then the left leg. You may first have to help your baby get up and even hold his feet, but then he will learn to do it on his own.
Gymnastics with flat-feet foot in children means not only exercises. Walking on uneven surfaces is not only curative, but also an excellent means of prevention. In the summer you can walk barefoot on sand, grass or small pebbles. They irritate the muscles of the foot and make them work. In winter, such walks will successfully replace the embossed mat and sand poured into the box, which will help to correct the flat-valgus feet in children. Komarovsky, by the way, regards the Swedish wall as an ideal simulator for such conditions. Besides the fact that it develops dexterity and endurance, the load that the foot and ankle get during ascent and descent helps the development of muscles and ligaments.
Footwear for flat-foot feet in children is of paramount importance, and it is necessary to select it correctly from an early age. At the same time, each age has its own requirements. So, for a baby who is not yet one year old, you need to pick up shoes, based on the fact that it should be as light as possible, with a minimum number of stitches and easy to fasten on the leg. As a rule, its main task (except for keeping warm) is to fix the child’s habit of wearing shoes. It is important to make sure that he does not bother her. Fighting an ingrained habit will not be easy.
Shoes for a child up to three years old should have a solid heel and a flexible sole. It is better if it is equipped with a lacing or a velcro fastener, allowing you to fix the ankle. Until the age of seven, it is important to wear shoes that, along with a rigid back, would not squeeze the fingers and elastically fit the widest part of the foot.
A healthy child half of the time he spends on his feet may remain barefoot, just not on a smooth floor or laminate floor (a high-nap carpet in such cases may well replace grass or sand). If the orthopedist confirms the plane-valgus deformity, then the use of orthopedic insoles becomes mandatory. They must be made individually and replaced as the child grows.