Could Finn have left the Stormtroopers because he has flat feet and the army boots were just killing him? Flat feet happens to be an extremely common condition in Singapore, it is known to be caused by hypermobility which is a very common condition with Asian people.
What is ‘hypermobility’? Well, a small test you can do to check hypermobility is to straighten your thumb and see if it is able to flex far enough to touch your forearm. Hypermobile individuals can usually do that. Just to be sure, straighten your arms as much as you can. If you are hypermobile, they would bend outwards for more than 180 degrees.
Many times Singaporean boys only realise that they have a flat foot problem when they enlist into national service. Flat footed boys usually experience discomfort or pain when walking or running around in military footwear. A common route to treating this problem is to see a Podiatrist for prescription insoles.
It would better if parents address the issue of their children’s flat feet earlier in life. By the time they are 18 or 19, it would be a lot more difficult to correct the foot shape. Yes, flat feet can be managed without surgery if you seek podiatric treatment at a young age. The ideal age to get a child checked for foot problems is 3-4 years old.
This is when the child’s feet have stabilised and are not too soft. The feet are still mouldable and correctable with the proper support, footwear and exercise. Children are also encouraged to pick up sports that would help strengthen their arch. Activities such as soccer, running, golf or dance could be beneficial, but it really depends on the foot type and foot deformity that is present.
Foot expert, Dr. Michael Lai is a Podiatrist with over 16 years of experience in Paediatric cases: “I see many children cases in my daily clinic, parents bringing their children for all sorts of conditions such as in-toeing, out-toeing, knock knees and tip toe walking but the most common are flat foot cases.”
Dr. Lai explains: “By correcting children’s feet early, we can avoid potential problems later on in life, such as constant pain while walking or standing in their adult life.”
Dr. Lai adds: “Foot arches could be the difference in a child’s overall height for up to 4cm. A child could grow up to stand taller, straighter and live a more active lifestyle.”
To learn more about flat foot, please watch the full video below:
Georgina Tay (Senior Podiatrist & Head of Department)
Georgina is a podiatrist from the U.K. who began her initial years of practising in Singapore by first serving in SGH. This was followed by a stint at NHG polyclinics before going into private practice to co-found East Coast Podiatry. As a mother of two children, Georgina holds a keen interest in paediatric care and is a firm believer in early intervention, to prevent the need for future surgeries in older children. She also treats highly complex cases such as drop foot, walking issues caused by cerebral palsy, and patients with special needs. Some of her clientele include patients from all over the world who travel specifically to Singapore for clinical advice and treatment at East Coast Podiatry.