Thursday, July 22, 2010

Non Surgical Intervention for Flat Feet

A Cochrane Review was published entitled "Non-surgical Interventions for Paediatric Pes Planus". The research indicates that custom foot orthoses may improve pain and function slightly. Three studies were included in the review. In one study, children with juvenile arthritis reported significant reduction in pain and reduction in disability while using the custom foot orthoses. The second study reveled no differences following the use of orthoses for children with bilateral flat feet. The authors concluded that due to the limited trials, no conclusions can be made regarding non surgical interventions of pes planus.

Interesting research...is this really all we have on the use of non surgical intervention (i.e. orthoses, stretching, footwear, etc.) for treating flat feet? Not very impressive that for years these are the recommendations that physical therapists make and there is very little research to back it up. Can anyone site different research articles to back up our suggestions? I know there are many biomechnical benefits to proper foot positioning but curious to know if any of this has been shown with research.

Reference: Rome K, Ashford RL, Evans A. Non-surgical interventions for paediatric pes planus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 7. Art. No.: CD006311. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006311.pub2

2 comments:

TherExtras said...

Some treatment interventions are validated by known physiological science as opposed to evidenced-based research.

I am a believer in the use of foot orthotics for child pes planus and esp if the child is showing other biomechanical problems, symptoms such as pain or clumsiness. Why let their developing bone and muscle structure harden in poor alignment? Barbara

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

I understand your point of view. I just find it hard that we have to be "believers" with a treatment methodology that has been around for quite some time. You would think insurance companies would demand evidence based research to validate the use of the orthotics. I have seen success with foot orthoses and failures. Some children do not tolerate them well due to faulty fabrication, self consciousness or increase in pain level.