Issues with feet can affect anyone at any age. Parents shouldn’t assume that signs of foot problems in children are merely “growing pains.
Managing children’s health is complicated enough, especially for first-time parents. It can be a struggle to truly know and even understand which signs and symptoms are temporary and which point to more serious concerns.
In truth, the professionals a The Podiatrist and Kidsnmotion agree that there are some pediatric foot problems that resolve themselves with growth and time. However, there are clear signs when children need medical help.
Common foot problems can range from pediatric flat foot, toe walking, in-toeing and flat or high arches to tarsal coalitions (an abnormal bridge of tissue that connects two normally separate tarsal bones plus extra bone growth — quite simply, when the bones of the feet fail to separate during fetal development).
While these conditions of the feet and their treatments are different, they share some common signs that show parents there is a problem that needs to be addressed:
- Pain, swelling and redness that does not subside
- Development of thick calluses in one area of the foot
- Problems with the way your child walks
- Shins or thighbones that appear to turn inward
- Ankles that are weak or easily give out
As much as your child’s general health and well-being is important, do not ignore symptoms; foot health is just as important as any other medical examination.
There are several treatment options for these conditions. Whether a less invasive approach — such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices and physical therapy — or a more intensive intervention — such as bracing, steroid injections or even surgery — is needed, The Podiatrist can advise parents on which treatment offers the best long-term prognosis.
If you believe that a family member is experiencing any of the above symptoms, perhaps it’s time to seek professional help and book a consultation for a thorough examination, diagnosis and possible treatment with The Podiatrist.
Our core is much more than just our abdominals. It includes the thoracic and lumbar spine, abdominal muscles, back muscles, pelvic and hip girdle muscles (especially the gluteals) and the thigh muscles.
Core exercises should be a key component of any training program – especially a distance running program. A correctly functioning core will yield proper biomechanics and force production, providing stability (including lumbar, pelvic, and lower limb stability), power and endurance.
When your core is weak, it can lead to increased strain in other parts of your body and could contribute to compensation and overuse movement patterns, over-striding or under-striding with running and increased frontal plane movements (side to side movements) of the lumbar spine, pelvis and hips.
These compensatory movement patterns will lead to overuse injuries and have been linked to various disorders common to runners, including:
Iliotibial band (IT Band) syndrome — The iliotibial band is a thick band of fascia (a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ) that crosses the hip joint and extends distally to insert on the patella, tibia, and biceps femoris tendon. Repetitive movements and overuse can cause irritation and inflammation in the knee or lead to snapping hip or hip bursitis.
Patellofemoral pain and dysfunction — The patella, your knee cap, floats within the trochlear groove on top of the femur. If the mechanics of your running is not ideal, then the kneecap may be pushed to one side of the groove when the knee is bent causing pain.
Low back and Sacroiliac (SI joint) disorders — SI joint is responsible for transferring the weight of the upper body to the lower body. It is located in the pelvis connecting the iliac bone (pelvis) to the sacrum (the lowest part of the spine). With a lot of repetitive movements you can cause hypermobility of the joint.
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints) — This refers to the pain in the front of leg that develops when you increase your mileage too fast. Most of the time this is caused by a training error due to fatigue.
Achilles tendinopathy — The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Tendinitis (inflammation) and Tendinosis (microtears in the tissue around the tendon) are common problems.
Plantar fasciitis – This band of tissue runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
A core strengthening program can help prevent these types of injuries and should progress initially from “open-chain” (i.e. non-weight bearing) exercises toward “closed-chain” (weight bearing) exercises. The goal is to stimulate and train the muscles to function in a manner and position that they would normally when under stress.
In running, our bodies are erect, with weight bearing and landing on our legs, so the strengthening exercises should reproduce these positions and movement patterns. The exercises should also incorporate all planes of movement of the body to allow ideal muscle stimulation and development.
For all your foot problems visit The Podiatrist
Foot Health: Don’t let children get caught flatfooted; arch collapse can cause problems | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz
As you look at your children running around, it is the ideal time to focus on their foot health and well-being. Remember, it’s not normal to have pain in your feet, especially for a child.
One of the most common foot structures that can cause problems for children is flat foot, also known as pes planus. This is a condition in which there is abnormal collapse of the arch when standing. This causes excessive strain on the soft tissues and joints of the foot and ankle, which in turn, can cause pain and affect the way in which your child is able to function over time.
It is also common to have children complain of knee pain due to their abnormal foot structure, as you can imagine, if your foundation (your feet) is not functioning correctly then that affects the joints up the chain (your knees, hips, lower back).
Here are some early signs of flat feet:
1.Is your child 5 yrs or older? Any younger than this it is normal to have a flattened arch. It is around age 5 that you should start to see an arch form
2.When you look at the back of your child’s heels as they stand, do the heels tend to angle outward, with bowing of the Achilles tendon?
3.Does your child complain of foot, knee or ankle pain during or after activity? Or wake up in the middle of the night with these complaints?
4. Does your child tend to have early leg fatigue or seem to be clumsy with activity?
5. Do you, the parents, have flat feet? If so, there’s a good chance that your child will too since foot structure
is mostly hereditary.
Most parents want the best for their kids and will do what they can to ensure their child’s health and success. However, it’s not always on parent’s minds that if your child’s feet are functioning abnormally, their ability to perform in sports and play outside with their friends can be hindered, and even cause pain.
What should parents do if they suspect their child has flat feet?
It is recommended to have your child evaluated early, even before age 5 if the parents have flat feet. The earlier that your child’s feet are treated, the better the outcome is for improvement in their overall structure over time.
One of the most conservative and effective means of treatment for paediatric flatfoot is custom orthotic therapy. This is done by taking a mould of your child’s foot in what the corrected position should be and from this mould we can make an insert (orthotic) that will fit inside your child’s shoes to wear on a daily basis to keep their feet in the corrected position. The earlier we can start this correction, the greater the improvement in the structure of the feet we can make.
By doing this we can help keep your child active and happy. So remember, if you’re going shoe shopping – take a look at your child’s feet BEFORE you hit the stores. A visit to The Podiatrist may be in order. Some shoes are better than others for flat feet and knowing what to look for will save you time and money.
For all your foot care needs, visit The Podiatrist
Sore feet are not only uncomfortable; they can put a big dent in your productivity and turn even the simplest task into a burdensome chore. Causes for sore feet can range from ill-fitting shoes to physical deformities, but luckily there are as many different solutions as there are problems; the trick is finding what works best for you. Many common foot problems like heel spurs, flat feet and torn ligaments can be solved best by using bio-mechanical intervention that can range from drug store variety inserts to custom-made orthotic devices.
Determining the Problem
To find the source of sore feet, start with the obvious culprit, ill-fitting shoes that do not provide the proper support for your body frame. So called “sensible shoes” with low profiles, sturdy arches and ankle support often provide instant relief from minor foot issues caused by inappropriate footwear. Under some conditions, like standing on hard or uneven surfaces all day, additional relief can be provided by drug store inserts that create a layer of cushioning for your feet to reduce the impact of each step. If these simple tactics do not yield favorable results, it is wise to consult with The Podiatrist to examine your feet to determine if you are suffering from treatable foot maladies that would benefit from custom-made orthotic devices.
The Podiatrist can examine your foot to determine if your problem results from an injury to or is the result of the way your foot functions in relation to the rest of your body. Injuries from sports and recreational activities can often be cured by providing proper support during the recuperation process so that the injury is not irritated and can heal properly. These types of inserts, pads and braces are temporary and will eventually become unnecessary.
If the problem lies in the basic structure of your foot, however, a more permanent orthotic will be recommended that is strategically designed to make your foot function correctly when you take a step. A cast of your foot is made and The Podiatrist uses this model to create the proper orthotic out of plastic, wood or rigid rubber. This kind of treatment can not only provide relief for sore feet, it can also have a direct impact on your legs and torso because it subtly changes your posture and corrects muscular issues that stemmed from improper balance.
See The Podiatrist for any foot problems.
Flat feet and turned feet are commonly seen in young children.
Flat feet happen when the arch of the foot is flatter than normal. It can be much flatter than normal. While flat feet are seen in people of all ages, it is most noticed at first in children. In many cases, the arch will form with age. However, for some children, the flattening causes painful feet.
Flat feet become more noticeable when the child starts to walk, and by the age of 3 the arch should be able to be seen during walking. If the feet are still flat at this age, then parents should have their child’s feet examined by The Podiatrist. If the arch is not looked at, then the child risks long term damage to the feet.
Turned feet can be noticed even before a child starts to walk.
Your child’s feet should not be turned in or out excessively. The foot should not be upward resting on or too near the leg. When holding your baby, the feet should hang naturally and similarly – one should not be turned out, in up or down more than the other. Many early foot deformities can occur only on one side.
Signs of a flat foot are a low or flat arch, an outward turned heel during walking.
The child may complain of sore or tired feet after walking or playing. Children with painful flat feet sometimes have trouble keeping up with friends because their feet get too sore or tired. If the arch is too flat, then foot muscles and joints have to work harder than normal during walking and running. Flat feet also change how the ankles, knees, legs, hips, and back work, and so there may also be pain and tiredness in these places.
Depending on the examination and history of the problem, The Podiatrist may decide to treat the flat feet. If the flat feet are mild, and if the child is still very young, The Podiatrist may simply want to see the child back in a few months. This way we can re-check the arches. If the flat feet are more severe, then treatment may be started. Usually treatment begins with exercise and foot inserts, or orthotics. The orthotics will re-align the feet to help the child walk more properly. Stretches or physical therapy may also be recommended.
If you have any concerns about your child and their feet, contact The Podiatrist.