Foot problems in children – what to do

Foot problems are quite common in adults and children alike. In children, foot problems are among the most common health issues and a relatively large percentage of children is bothered by some of these issues. The good news is that children’s constitution and the fact that their bones are not yet formed completely allow for very successful and quick treatment of these problems as well as the symptoms that are caused by them.

Pediatric flatfoot
Flatfoot is a condition which is characterized by a lack of arches or very low arches. In children, this is a rather common problem and although it will usually cause no particularly bothersome symptoms, it can limit their ability to engage in physical activities and it may cause their walk to seem awkward. In some cases, pediatric flatfoot can lead to cramps and even pain. In most cases, a children’s podiatry specialist will be able to come up with exercises and orthotics that will be able to reduce this problem.

Cavus deformity
Cavus deformity is best described as being the opposite of flatfoot. This problem is characterized by very high arches which do not come down when the child stands on the foot. In two thirds of cases, this condition is caused by a neurological condition which needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible. In most cases, surgery will be needed to correct this problem while sometimes bracing and physical therapy can do the trick. It is essential that this problem is noticed and taken under serious advisement with a pediatrician.

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Clubfoot is a condition in which the foot is turned downwards and inwards at birth. The causes are still unknown although it has been noticed that it happens more in male children and that it can be hereditary in nature. This problem is treated as quickly as possible through a combination of stretching, casting and minor surgery which completes the corrective process. You should always look for a pediatric orthopedic surgeon with training in the so-called Ponseti method.

Sever’s disease
Sever’s disease is a condition with a rather ominous name, although it is not that serious or severe at all. This condition involves the heel bone which can become inflamed and cause pain. This problem is more common in children who are very active physically. Rest is usually enough to get rid of this problem, perhaps accompanied by over-the-counter analgesics. Stretching and icing after physical activity can also be of help.

Ingrown toenail
Ingrown toenail is something that can occur in anyone, no matter the age. However, in children it becomes a bigger issue because of the pain that can be quite severe and difficult to explain to a child. In most cases, this is caused by improper clipping or footwear and socks that are too tight. The biggest mistake that you can make is to try and handle an ingrown toenail on your own. It is always better to go to a professional who will know exactly how to do this without causing too much pain.
There are many other conditions that may affect your children’s feet and ankles and if your child is in pain or feels discomfort, it is always a good idea to visit a podiatrist who has training in children’s podiatry and who will know how to make a diagnosis and how to treat a specific problem.

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James Burbank is a father of two and an active blogger on subjects as diverse as marketing, green living and parenthood. He always goes to Bankstown Podiatry Clinic when he needs podiatry advice.

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