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.
You worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of the body. You teach washing, brushing and grooming. But what do you do about your child’s developing feet which have to carry the entire weight of the body through a lifetime?
Many adult foot ailments, like other bodily ills, have their origins in childhood and are present at birth. Periodic professional attention and regular foot care can minimize these problems in later life.
Neglecting foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back.
Your baby’s feet
The human foot (one of the most complicated parts of the body) has 26 bones, and is laced with ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Because the feet of young children are soft and pliable, abnormal pressure can easily cause deformities.
A child’s feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half their adult foot size. This is why foot specialists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet.
Here are some suggestions to help you assure that this development proceeds normally:
* Look carefully at your baby’s feet. If you notice something that does not look normal to you, seek professional care immediately. Deformities will not be outgrown by themselves.
* Cover your baby’s feet loosely. Tight covers restrict movement and can impede normal development.
* Provide an opportunity for exercising the feet. Lying uncovered enables your baby to kick and perform other related motions which prepare the feet for weight bearing.
*Change your baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot, especially on the stomach, can put excessive strain on the feet and legs.
Starting to walk
It is unwise to force a child to walk. When physically and emotionally ready, your child will walk. Comparisons with other children are misleading, since the age for independent walking ranges from 10 to 18 months.
When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Allowing your child to go barefoot or to wear just socks helps the foot to grow normally and to develop its musculature and strength. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, babies’ feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.
As your child’s feet continue to develop, it may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months to allow room for the feet to grow. Although foot problems result mainly from injury, deformity, illness, or hereditary factors, improper footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. Shoes or other footwear should never be handed down.
The feet of young children are often unstable because of muscle problems which make walking difficult or uncomfortable. A thorough examination by a chiropodist may detect an underlying defect or condition which may require immediate treatment or consultation with another specialist.
Podiatrists have long known of the high incidence of foot defects among the young, and recommends foot health examinations for school children on a regular basis.
Millions of children participate in team and individual sports many of them outside the school system, where advice on conditioning and equipment is not always available. Parents should be concerned about children’s involvement in sports that require a substantial amount of running and turning, or involve contact. Protective taping of the ankles is often necessary to prevent sprains or fractures. Parents should consider discussing these matters with a chiropodist if they have children participating in active sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are on the rise as more children actively participate in sports.
Advice for parents
Problems noticed at birth will not disappear by themselves. You should not wait until your child begins walking to take care of a problem you’ve noticed earlier.
Remember that lack of complaint by a youngster is not a reliable sign. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without your child being aware of it.
Walking is the best of all foot exercises, according to chiropodists. We also recommend that walking patterns be carefully observed. Does the child walk toe in or out, have knock knees, or other gait abnormalities? These problems can be improved if they are detected early.
The Podiatrist has a special interest in Children’s feet and has had many year of experience treating all sorts of conditions.
Contact The Podiatrist for an appointment today.
Have you ever felt aching knees or back pain during or after running or an aerobic workout? In step class do you find that your knees are feeling under pressure? It very well could be that your fitness shoes are causing the pain. Used trainers might still look nice, but they may have lost their support and ability to absorb shock.
Sports shoes should be changed after 150 hours of cross training. If you work out three days a week and remove your sneakers after each workout (not using them for everyday running around), your sneakers should last about one year.
Are Your Running Shoes Causing You Pain?
Maintaining a physically active life takes effort and determination. Whether your fitness program is just beginning or you’ve been at it for years, the last thing you need is to be sidelined by pain or injury. Selecting the right shoe can go a long way toward helping you stay in the game.
Wear and Tear
Another way to determine the best shoe type is to examine your old shoes. If they’re worn out around the outside edges, you’re probably under-pronating. Shoes that sag inward indicate excessive pronation. An even pattern of wear points toward normal pronation.
Even if our shoes still look great on the outside, running and walking shoes should be replaced about every 600 kms, or every 3-5 months, if you’re averaging 40 kms a week. If you’re heavy-set or have a higher weekly mileage, replace your shoes at the shorter end of that range. Wearing shoes that no longer offer the right amount of support and cushioning puts you at risk for pain and injury.
Matching Shoes to Sports
It isn’t a good idea to wear your running shoes for activities such as playing tennis, or even in a step class, because running shoes don’t offer much lateral support. For activities that involve a lot of side-to-side movement, opt for cross-trainers or sport-specific athletic shoes like court shoes.
For persistent pain that doesn’t resolve with a change of shoe style, talk to The Podiatrist, because your shoes may or may not be the problem.
The right care and the right shoes will help you get back on your feet and back out there, working up a healthy sweat.
Contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.
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There’s simply no substitute for organized game play in a child’s physical, emotional and mental development. Even non-organized physical activity is important, like climbing trees, going for a swim on a hot Saturday, or riding a bicycle to a friend’s house.
But kids are notorious for not complaining about their injuries, for any number of reasons. And injuries at such a young age can literally change the development of every muscle in their body, as the uninjured parts compensate for the injured parts. As a parent, you need a sharp eye to watch for changes in behavior or body language, even though we all know how hard that is.
Signs of possible unspoken injury to a child’s feet or ankles may include changes in their gait, occasional limping, favoring one foot over another, walking on their toes, problems running, or unusual fatigue.
The most common sports injury in children is heel pain. Many times this can be simple plantar fasciitis from overuse, usually controlled with pain medicine, rest, icing and if necessary, physical therapy and foot orthoses to be worn in their shoes. But it may also be a sign of Sever’s disease, an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate due to muscle strain and repetitive stress. This is especially common in highly active children and those carrying extra weight.
Bear in mind that the symptoms of heel pain in adults are considerably different than heel pain in children. In adults, heel pain is usually worst in the morning upon rising, and subsides as the tissue warms up with light activity. But in children, heel pain usually doesn’t diminish as the child moves around – in fact it may get much worse.
If your child complains about heel pain, don’t take it lightly. Make an appointment with The Podiatrist immediately, because early intervention is key to a continued healthy development.
Far from the new disease on the block, gout has been plaguing people throughout history. Indeed, diagnosed for over 2,000 years, Gout is considered one of our longest-known diseases.
Throughout much of that history, gout was considered the “disease of kings,” primarily because it was thought to be a result of overindulgence of fatty foods and alcohol.
Modern science has shown us that—while such overindulgence can definitely heighten the risk of gout—anybody can be affected by the pain of gout.
Gout is a form of arthritis that often sneaks up in the middle of the night, suddenly attacking your joints with a deep, persistent pain.
Gout most often results when needle-like crystals of uric acid form in the body’s connective tissue or lodge themselves in the space between two bones (i.e., in the joints).
These uric acid crystals inflame the surrounding area and lead to inflammatory arthritis.
This inflammatory arthritis is responsible for heat, pain, redness, stiffness, and swelling commonly associated with attacks of gout.
What are the Symptoms of Gout?
The #1 biggest symptom of gout is extreme pain, swelling, throbbing and heat in the joint of your big toe.
If you’ve never had gout before, you might not understand how easy it is for doctors to diagnose gout.
Your doctor can do a test for the presence of uric acid crystals in your joint fluid (by taking a sample of the fluid in the affected joint), but most likely he will recognize the unique symptoms to diagnose that you do indeed have gout.
Other symptoms of gout include:
• Multiple attacks of acute arthritis
• Arthritis attacks that develop over the course of an extremely quick time (e.g., over the span of 12-24 hours with inflamed, painful, red, and hot joints)
• Arthritis attack that affects only one joint; most often affecting the toe, ankle, or knee. The first attack of gout most often affects the joints of the big toe. In fact, gout is thought to affect the big toe of 75% of all patients during the course of the disease.
Additionally, the affects of gout can be found in other joints such as the elbows, fingers, heels, instep, and wrists.
Who Gets Gout?
The most typical victim of gout is male, over 35, and at least somewhat overweight.
Gout affects nearly 1% of the world’s population. Gout is responsible for nearly 5% of all arthritis sufferers.
But anybody can get Gout!
Research has shown that 1 out of every 4 people with gout actually has a family history of gout…
While the genetic component is not currently fully understood, researchers are hopeful that such information will greatly impact the early diagnosis and prevention of gout in the future.
Because men tend to have higher levels of uric acid in their bodies to begin with, gout affects more men than women. However, after menopause, a woman’s uric acid level actually rises to be comparable to a man’s level.
In addition, age seems to play a role in the onset of gout. Men typically develop gout between the ages of 30 and 50. Women, on the other hand, rarely develop symptoms until they are 50 and older. Very few cases of gout have been diagnosed in children and young adults.
Is Gout Preventable?
Again, the answer is YES!!!
It’s important to know that, if you’ve suffered from gout once, you are highly likely to suffer from gout again. But the good news is, we are here to help you learn everything you need to know about treating gout, and then preventing it from ever occurring again.
Visit the website if you have any foot problems or for more information- http://www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
Every time you take a step, your foot is hit with unforgiving vibrations that can cause tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and more — particularly if you wear high heels or participate in foot-stressing activities, like running.
The muscles in your foot play a huge role in how your body absorbs shock.
To start an at-home foot health routine to reduce pain, try these four moves:
• For strength: Short foot. This is a movement so small, To perform the short foot exercise, stand barefoot and contract the arch of your foot by driving your big toes into the ground. It makes the bottom of the foot contract, it pulls your arch up, and fires your hips and abs — just from that one little movement. “Short footing” a few times a day while you’re doing another activity like brushing your teeth, cooking dinner, or waiting for the bus.
• For strength: Stand on one leg. Now that you know the benefits of single-leg training, try it at home by simply standing barefoot on one foot while standing in line or doing chores around the house. For an extra balance challenge that will really fire your feet, close your eyes — it throws off your centre of gravity and makes balancing more challenging.
• For recovery: Stand on golf balls. Golf balls under your feet work the same as foam roller and massage for other parts of your body-hey break up lactic acid to help muscles relax and recover from stress. If standing on the balls is too intense for you, sit in a chair and roll the golf balls under your feet for a light massage. This exercise can be helpful for arch pain, cramps, and foot pain from plantar fasciitis.
• For recovery: Calf stretches. Tight calves put a lot of strain on your feet, which is why The Podiatrist recommends stretching your calves daily. For a simple stretch, face a wall from two to three feet away. Lean into the wall, keeping your heels on the floor and your knees extended, and hold. For a deeper stretch, stand on one leg on a stair, holding a railing for support. Drop your heel, so that it hangs off the step, and push it down with your weight until you feel a stretch in your calf.
Contact The Podiatrist for any of your foot problems.