Children are naturally active and their bodies are developing and testing their capabilities in hopping, jumping, skipping and running. If your child has difficulty keeping up with their peers or often falls over or is clumsy they may be suffering from foot problems. Visit our experienced child podiatrists in Adelaide and Murray Bridge for expert advice on your child’s feet.
Does your child complain of aching legs in the evening or around bedtime? Growing pains aren’t a myth nor are they imagined. A South Australian study identified that 37% of children suffer from growing pains, which are often seen as aches and cramps in the muscles of the lower legs. The pain often occurs in the main growth spurt periods between 3-5 and again 8-14. Pain occurs in the front of the thigh, the calf, the shin and back of the knee with no joint pain.
Pain in the legs and feet can be the cause of a range of podiatric conditions, some more serious than others. Growing pain have vague symptoms. Signs of growing pain include pain in both legs in the afternoon or evening and during the night that is gone by the morning. They occur a few nights in a row and with a gap of a few months in between episodes.
Growing pains should not be ignored and can be treated to provide relief. Stretching exercises can be effective. For some children orthotics can be really helpful to ease and prevent growing pains by reducing and redirecting the force of weight bearing away from the growing bone.
Flat feet are a result of flattened or collapsed arches and when associated with pain and difficulty walking and running treatment is required. Flat feet are often unstable and require the muscles and ligaments to work harder to maintain the arch and support movement. Most children up until approximately 7 years of age will exhibit some form of flat feet. Only in cases where a child presents with pain, is an orthotic indicated.
Pigeon or intoed walking
This is often developmental which means that the feet and legs will improve without any treatment. Often abnormal sitting or sleeping positions need to be addressed early and stretching tight medial hamstrings can be the cause. When in-toeing causes your child to become unstable, clumsy and have falls from tripping treatment is recommended. This often involves the use of special orthoses called gait plates to encourage the lower limb and feet to rotate outwards while they are growing.
In the teens, pain around the heels can be a sign of sever’s disease, a condition caused by the Achilles tendon placing extra strain on the growth plate of the heel bone creating inflammation and swelling. Heel pain can flare up during physical activity, forcing your child to the sidelines of a soccer or football game and even changing their running as they compensate for the pain. sever’s disease will eventually heal itself as the growth plate at the heel fully develops and the bones fuse at around 15 years of age. However in the meantime treatment can relieve symptoms so that we can keep your child active and enjoying the sport they love.
Kids are tough on their feet and warts are an unsightly and painful growth that can stop them in their tracks. Warts are a virus that usually grow on the sole of the foot, which is why they can be painful for the child. The best way to avoid warts is to encourage your child to wear shoes around swimming pools and other wet areas such as communal showers. The callus overlying a wart needs to be pared back so that one of a number of chemical that can be used to kill the wart can get to where it is.