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Foot Pain in Children

Foot pain in children is a commonly reported complaint at podiatric clinics and it is also frequently reported from children. Foot pain may or may not be related to some underlying disease but in certain cases it may be linked to paediatric foot deformities.

In this article, we will discuss the many reasons why a child may complain of foot-related pain.

Firstly, the pain may be related to ill-fitting shoes or shoes that do not provide proper support. Children may also complain of foot pain due to a sports injury. Alternatively, the pain may originate from a variety of paediatric foot deformities.

Often, the underlying cause of foot pain may be as simple as poorly fitting shoes, overuse of the shoes, sports-related injury or trauma resulting from heavy-duty activities like running.

In the case of foot pain caused by poorly fitting shoes, choosing the right pair of shoes is vital. Selecting the correct shoe size is most important. Tight shoes can restrict blood circulation and loose-fitting shoes can cause the child to trip up.

While choosing shoes, one should consider the length and width of the foot. One should also measure the arches of the feet and select shoes that provide arch support.

One should avoid shoes with hard soles. Shoes should be lightweight and have shock absorption in the heel and around the balls of the feet.

Narrowness in the toe area is another feature of shoes one should avoid at all costs. Shoes with narrow toes not only result in foot pain but could also lead to further complications like hammertoe. The toes should be comfortably accommodated and not forced to curl up.

One should replace shoes when the heel wears out. Particularly, one should running shoes on a regular basis as they can lose their shock absorption potential. The soles of shoes often lose their viability due to heat and humidity.

Paediatric foot deformities can cover a wide sphere of problems in the muscles, bones and tendons of the foot. Some of the major paediatric foot deformities are clubfoot, juvenile bunion, cavus foot, tarsal coalition and accessory navicular.

Flat foot (or cavus foot) in children is characterized by high arches in the feet, often accompanied by hammertoes, calluses found on the ball, heel or side of the foot. Children find it painful to walk and are susceptible to spraining their ankles.

Kid’s flat foot develops in the first ten years of life and if treated in the early stages, custom orthotics can be the best non-surgical treatment option.

A combination of specialized shoes and arch supports can relieve the problem of kid’s flat foot. The earlier the intervention, the greater the probability of influencing arch shape and the development of the foot early on. This might not completely eliminate the need for wearing some form of orthoses later in life but there are certain cases where the intervention is to a certain extent corrective.

One can associate flat feet of children with heel pain, overpronation, arch pain and misalignment of the feet and legs. This results in abnormal gait and chronic pain in the lower back and rest of the body. The correct custom made orthotics can address these issues, provide support to the arch and realign the mechanics of the feet.

Accessory navicular results due to extra bone growth on the inside of the navicular. Pain and tenderness may result from this bone growth. Treatment may include orthotics or in certain cases surgery.

One can address the pain associated with juvenile bunion by using wide shoes, or surgery if the pain persists.

Another common condition that may result in foot pain includes plantar fasciitis. This is characterized by pain in the heel caused by irritation of the plantar fascia or the band of tissue that connects the toes with the heels. Treatment includes wearing supportive shoes and doing special exercises to strengthen relevant muscles.

Consult a specialist at Curafoot today to help you assess your child’s feet and provide solutions to foot pain problems.

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