All people in the first world get splayfoot at some point in life. Splayfoot is when a pressure point develops beneath the heads of metatarsal bones II, III and IV in the forefoot because they are protruding downwards. Unfortunately, the common literature speaks of the myth of a transverse arch, which collapses at some point in life. This is nonsense. When walking naturally, our forefoot distributes the force of the step and, in particular, push-off across all five metatarsal heads, in line with the bones' absorbing ability. This means: the stronger the bone is, the more momentum it can absorb. The surface of the foot that comes into contact with the ground adapts to the surface that it is walking on in order to transfer the power in the best way possible. Herein lies the reason for splayfoot developing. It is not the collapse of any structure due to overload in old age, but acclimatisation to an unaltered surface. This can happen very early in life, because we rarely allow our children to run around with no shoes on.
For historical and fashion-related reasons, today all of our shoes feature a concave arch in the forefoot area, i.e. the insole is formed in such a way that the middle part of metatarsal heads II-IV lies lower than the outer part, I and V. This means that even babies' feet lie – tension-free – in a hollow, thus exposing metatarsal heads II, III and IV. If the child then moves primarily on this surface, the foot quickly forms into this structure as they grow. This very quickly creates childhood splayfoot, which can even cause pain when running barefoot.
For this reason, shoe manufacturers that make "spherical" children's shoes are the creators of whole generations of potential pain patients that have a low threshold for strain. As all shoes on all price levels are shaped in a "spherical" way, no one is able to avoid this vicious circle. On the contrary, a person that is used to "spherical" shoes is barely able to withstand even surfaces as their feet – and their muscles, fasciae and bones – have changed due to this acclimatisation. Thus, right from the beginning our feet are deformed in such a way that the middle metatarsal heads have to bear the greatest force. This quickly leads to pain caused by overload, and splayfoot can be diagnosed as early as during nursery school.
If the aforementioned pain-evading reactions then occur, even small children can experience various types of pain. Muscle pain in the arms and legs, as well as back pain, are not related to age but to foot pain.