Children’s feet change shape and function with growth and development until growth ceases in their late teens.
The feet of young children, including babies and toddlers, are very soft. Their bones have not yet grown to their full capacity, and so there are several foot problems that your child may experience, including:
Common Foot Problems in Children:
· Heel Pain / Sever’s Condition
· Osgood Schlatters
· Knock knees, bow legs
· Growing pains
· Unusual shaped feet or toes
· Painful feet or ankles
· Flat feet
· In-toeing or out-toeing
What do we look at?
Our Podiatrists’ at Custom Podiatry Services complete a full biomechanical assessment with the aim to pick up on any issues early and prevent problems in adulthood. Some of the things we look at include;
Whether your child’s walking pattern fits their age milestones. A lot of common foot, knee, and hip issues can resolve by the time a child hits a certain age. Eg. Knock knees, bow legs.
Foot posture; assessing your child for flat feet or whether the forefoot turns inward eg. in-toeing aka pigeon toed.
Whether they are experiencing growing related issues. A common one is heel pain, where the diagnosis could be plantar fasciopathy or Sever’s where by the cartilaginous growth plate that has not turned to bone yet is inflamed. Pain may also be due to the tightness of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon during growth spurts.
We encourage all parents to bring their child in for a biomechanical assessment, especially if your child needs new shoes for school or winter sport.
What's more? We are a BUPA Members First Provider whereby persons under 25 who have podiatry cover receive gap-free consultations. For BUPA Members over 25, the initial consultation fee (F004) is fixed at $72.00 and subsequent (F012) is $62. In addition, being a Members First Provider, our clients will also receive a greater rebate on our services. Book an appointment now by clicking here.
Common Growing issues
Sever’s Condition is the most common cause of heel pain in children. It is associated with children between the ages of 8 and 14 years old. It is a painful inflammatory response of the attachment of the Achilles Tendon at the growth plate of the heel. This growth plate is made of cartilage as it has not yet turned to bone, making it at risk of excessive strain.
What causes Sever’s Disease?
The active lifestyle of a child and the demands of sport can place excessive repetitive stress on the back of the heel (growth plate). This repetitive pulling and strain can lead to inflammation and pain in the heel.
Tight calves, poor footwear and an increase in sport participation can make this condition worse. Good news is it is self-limiting, so as the child continues to mature the growth plate will have become bone.
The take home message
If you are worried about your child having flat feet or you have observed an awkward walking or running style, or your child is complaining of pain or cramping, you should seek professional help to diagnose and treat the source of pain. It may be as simple as implementing a customised strengthening or exercise program or providing your child with orthotics or gait plates for their shoes.
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