Children’s feet rapidly change as they grow into adults and should be monitored from birth. Children’s feet differ from those of adults, as they are not yet fully formed. Children’s feet have a unique developmental pattern of their own and hence, are quite fragile and prone to damage caused by constricting shoes and socks. In many cases, foot problems in adult life can often be prevented or reduced through early intervention in childhood. Bunions, hammer toes, curly toes and flat feet are common foot problems we see every day. All of these things can have a genetic cause which can be passed down from generation to generation. The good news is that the effect of these problems can be minimised with early intervention.
At Sole Therapy we believe in trying to prevent your foot problems in the next generation with advice and management early on. Early examination and intervention of a child’s feet is an effective preventative measure to identify or treat potential conditions so your children can lead an active and healthy life.
Foot problems commonly experienced by children
FLAT AND HIGH ARCHED FEET
Too much of an arch or too little can manifest problems in the growing child. Pain is quite commonly seen in these children.
IDIOPATHIC TOE WALKING
Unresolved tip toe or walking on the balls of the feet after the age of 3 needs to be examined and assessed. Early intervention may prevent problems in your child’s future development.
In toeing or pigeon toe walking means when child walks or runs with the feet turn inward instead of pointing straight ahead & can cause problem if not treated early.
Out-toeing means that the feet curve excessively outwards instead of pointing straight & should be seen by Sole Therapy.
Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically they appear on the bottom (plantar side) of the foot.
Tight shoes or socks, or incorrect nail trimming are the most common cause of ingrown toenails in children, although sometimes the tendency for nails to curve inward is inherited.
Pain in a child’s foot, ankle, knee or lower back is never normal. Any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, should be evaluated by our podiatrists.
Growing pains can affect children from the age of three and may continue into early adolescence. Muscular pains in the legs (especially the calf, front of thigh or behind the knees) may be worse in the afternoon or evening and may wake a child from sleep.
Growing pains usually affect children between the ages of 3 to 11 years. Boys and girls are equally affected. Poor foot and body biomechanics can worsen growing pains. It is advised to seek a biomechanical assessment if the pain occurs often at night and your child is finding it difficult to participate in activities for long periods of time.
Growing pains can affect the heel and knee’s areas in children. If pain occurs between the ages of 8-16 at these sites then it is more likely that the pain is from common growth plate disturbances and should be seen by our podiatrists early to prevent damage to these areas as they close.
Two main types of growth plate disturbances in children are;
- Sever’s Disease (Heel Pain)
- Osgood Slatters Disease (Knee Pain)
HEEL PAIN- SEVER’S DISEASE
Severs Disease also known as calcaneal apophysiitis is associated to the inflammation of the growth plate of the calcaneaus or the heel bone.
OSGOOD- SCHLATTER’S DISEASE
Anterior Knee pain
Osgood-Schlatter’s disease is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage, and/or tendon at the top of the shin bone (tibia), where the tendon from the kneecap (patella) attaches.