Foot problems in children can go unnoticed for a long time. When kids feel pain in their feet, they tend to try and adapt by changing their gait or posture to ease the discomfort so that they can keep up with their friends at school. However, this can lead to other problems such as a misalignment of the foot, or ankle, knee and back pain.
Here are six signs to look out for that may indicate your child’s feet need some extra attention.
1. They complain about foot pain and stiffness
It isn’t normal for children to have foot pain. If they have strained their foot during sports or normal activities, then use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to help the foot to stabilise. However, if it hasn’t subsided after a couple of days, please call the clinic so that we can assess their feet for any underlying problems.
2. They favour one leg over the other
They may be limping or showing signs of preferring to use one leg over the other. Even if the limping is slight, it’s important to understand why it’s happening.
3. They are withdrawing from sports and activities they usually enjoy
Pain in the heel or under the foot can occur from repetitive strain and cause your child to withdraw from activities they normally enjoy. This won’t resolve on its own and requires some physical therapy as well as rest at home to bring the foot back into alignment and good health.
4. They seem to be more clumsy than usual
If you’re noticing your child tripping and falling more often, this could be a sign of misalignment in the feet, or a problem with in-toeing or out-toeing.
5. They aren’t keeping up with their friends during play
If your child has any strain under their feet, heel pain, forefoot pain or if they have flat feet, their feet and legs may be getting more tired than usual preventing them from keeping up with their friends during sports or play time.
6. They suddenly change the way they walk
You may have noticed that your child’s gait or walking style has changed recently. This could be caused by pain in their feet or legs causing them to adapt their walking style in order to manage the pain.
At the clinic, we measure and test their gait to assess for alignment problems in their feet.
When we conduct a Gait Analysis, we observe their waking and running style and the impact of this movement on their feet, hips, lower back and limbs. This analysis provides us with a significant amount of information which in turn helps us understand overactive and underactive muscles, and identify biomechanical problems which can lead to pain, injuries or other problems.
We’ll then be able to advise on the best course of treatment to help bring your children’s feet back into proper alignment and good health.
Related article: What is GAIT analysis and how does it help?
Our family-friendly podiatrists will help your kids keep their feet in good health
Please call us to make an appointment for your child. Our family podiatrists will assess, diagnose and treat any foot pain that your child may have. They’ll also educate them about looking after their feet better and will provide self-help tips at home.
Call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists.