High arch feet are much less common than flat feet in Australia. They are either inherited or develop in response to a neuromuscular condition such as CMT, Cerebral Palsy or Spina Bifida.
How do you know if your child has a high arch foot? A High arch foot is characterized by:
- Overall shortening of the length of the foot
- Very rigid foot
- Arch that sits higher from the ground
- Well defined arch
Children that have high arches have less surface area for absorbing impact and place excessive pressure on balls of the feet and heels. This can lead to a host of problems from the foot, ankle and leg, all the way up the hip and back. In relation to the feet more specifically, children with high arches will tend to walk on the outsides of their feet leading to common complaints such as:
- Pain on the outside of the foot
- Pain in the ball of the foot
- Heel pain
- Achilles pain
- Stress fractures
- Knee and lower back pain
- Hammertoes (bent toes) or claw toes (toes clenched like a fist)
- Calluses on the ball, side or heel of the foot
- An unstable foot due to the heel tilting inward, which can lead to ankle sprains
High arched feet rarely present themselves in very young children. They often develop as the child grows and are seen more commonly in early adolescents.
At SOLE THERAPY your podiatry expert will first take a thorough medical history. Then a comprehensive posture assessment will be conducted to find the underlying reason behind your child’s high arches.
In most cases, footwear modifications, customised orthoses and at home stretching manage high arches well and prevent injury. Consistent reviewing of your child’s biomechanics is important to avoid issues once they have finished growing.
If you have questions about high arches or are concerned about your child’s walking, visit SOLE THERAPY.
Words from one of our Podiatrist's,
DR VICTORIA KOKOTATSIOS