When Do Children Need a Podiatrist?

When Do Children Need a Podiatrist?

Children's Podiatry - Caring for Kid's Feet

Children should be free to run, jump, and play. That’s exactly what we at Dynamic Podiatry want your children to do, but sometimes foot or leg pain gets in the way.

All types of pain in children need to be investigated as it’s not their normal state. Usually the cause of the pain is quite benign and can be fixed with simple therapies.

At Dynamic Podiatry we have vast experience working with children using research based assessment and diagnostic techniques to ensure that we get the right results for your kids.

When Would a Child Need a Podiatrist?

Podiatrist’s can generally help out with any childhood problems involving the feet, legs, ankles, knees and hips.

Most conditions present as pain, but sometimes it can be something else that a parent,teacher or coach may notice such as a sudden drop in performance or going backwards with their milestones.

When it comes to treating children’s pain, this is where Dynamic Podiatry really excels. We use proven tools such as the Gallop form to gather important and relevant information about your child.

A little girl with a sore foot

 

The Gallop form was devised as a standardised way for podiatrists and Physiotherapists to make sure that we are all gathering the most important information.

Some of the Most Common Conditions We See in Children

Whilst many conditions can present in children there are some that we see more than others.

These include:

  • Growing Pains (often not actually growing pains).
  • Sever’s Tractional Apophysitis (heel growth plate pain)
  • Ingrown Toenails
  • Flat Feet
  • Intoeing gait (colloquially called pigeon toed)
  • Tripping and falling
  • Knee Pain

Growing Pains - or not Growing Pains

Growing pains tends to be a cover-all for term for any pain in the legs of children.

The truth is there are several situations when leg pain is not growing pains. 

These include:

  • When it is only in one leg
  • when the pain is in the morning or during the night – growing pains tend to occur around the afternoon and early evening.
  • Growing pains are never in the joints
Growing pains usually can be relieved with simple therapies such as heat packs or gentle massage.
Two children are running towards the water on the beach and having fun

If you are finding that your child is requiring pain reliving medications to get to sleep on a regular basis, then it is important that you get them checked out.

Most times whether it is growing pains or not, podiatry treatment will provide total relief from pain in a couple of weeks.

Sever's Calcaneal Traction Apophysitis - Heel Pain

Sever’s used to be inaccurately called Sever’s disease. Inaccurate because it is not a disease process but a temporary inflammation of the growth plate at the abck of the heel in children usually between the ages of 9-13.

Sever’s occurs at this age range because this is when two bones at the back of the heel are starting to fuse to form the one bone they become before adulthood.

Because the small bone is attached to the strong Achilles tendon which is powered by the calf muscles, children playing all forms of football or other sports involving running and kicking are most likely to suffer from it.

The Good News? No adults have Sever’s.

Yes they will grow out of it, but it’s very important that during this stage of growth they are able to continue playing sport and being active without pain. 

Some children pull out of sport altogether due to Sever’s.

Ingrowing Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be very painful and lead to serious infections.

Unfortunately they are more common in teenagers due to hormone changes and the body going through periods of rapid growth.

Podiatrists use a very small chisel blade also known as a Beaver blade which allows us to remove ingrown toenails with minimal or no pain.

For a demonstration of ingrown toenails by one of our podiatrists, Matt Hayter click here.

An ingrown toenail which is infected the skin is red and swollen and there is some pus

Flat Feet

Flat Feet or Pet Planus is one of the most common conditions that children present to a podiatrist for.

Often the cause for presenting is concern from a parent, teacher or relative that has seen the child walk or run and thinks that the child is flat footed.

Flat feet in children though often don’t require treatment. Often it is a normal stage of development which they may grow out of.

Some reasons why a child may need treatment for flat feet include: Pain, tripping or falling, inequality (one foot flat, and the other with a normal or high arch).

Of these pain is the most pressing reason for treatment. Dynamic Podiatry has a great record of relieving pain in children with flat feet.

 

A flat foot shown from the medial side with virtually no arch at all

Pain from Flexible Flat Feet in children responds extremely well to ortho-mechanical correction such as better footwear or foot orthotics.

Important Note: the goal of podiatry treatment is NOT to create a higher arch, as there is no evidnece to suggest that early intervention will change the flat feet of a child.

Intoeing Gait - (or Pigeon Toes)

Intoeing gait is one of those childhood conditions that will often run its course.

Many children who have intoeing gait will not have it when they are an adult.

This is because the de-rotation of the tibia and femur (long leg bones) often happens at different ages and will self correct.

Intoeing gait is a cause for concern when it: is causing the child to trip and fall more than is common for that age or causes pain in the legs.

In these cases a thorough assessment from an experienced podiatrist will almost always result in a good outcome.

If you are at all concerned about your child’s feet or legs or they are regularly complaining of pain you can book an appointment with a Podiatrist experienced in children’s issues by calling 3351 8878 or booking online here.

Four Children playing soccer in the park
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2 thoughts on “When Do Children Need a Podiatrist?”

  1. Pingback: What is a Pre-Pointe Ballet Assessment? - Dynamic Podiatry

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