I used to love wearing heels all the time, and then I started getting terrible foot pain all the time. I visited my podiatrist, and she showed me how much damage I was doing to my feet. She showed me how much better my feet would be able to react if I wore shoes with proper arch support and convinced me to try some sensible shoes. It made such a difference. My boyfriend says I'm a whole new person - a new person who doesn't complain about her aching feet all day long. Now I proudly wear sensible shoes and enjoy my life!
Attending to all things foot health, among them children's development, succinctly describes what a podiatrist does every day. The foot specialist is trained in diagnosing and treating feet development issues in young children.
Some conditions and symptoms may go away on their own as your child continues to grow, while others may persist and may even get worse. You do need to set up an appointment with a podiatrist if you notice the following concerns.
Persistent Toe Walking
Toe walking is fairly common, and especially when kids are just learning to walk. Most kids outgrow toe walking by the time they are three years old, but it may be a few more months for others. If your child continues to persistently walk on their toes past this age, you should see a podiatrist. You also have a reason to see the foot specialist if your child toe walks on just one foot, as this is often linked to other issues such as muscle weakness, cerebral palsy, and problems related to the nervous system. Your child's podiatrist may recommend physical therapy with targeted stretching exercises. Your child may also need to wear a foot or ankle cast for a couple of weeks to help with the stretching of the calf muscles.
Persistent Bow Leggedness
As with the toe walking, you only have cause for concern if bow leggedness persists beyond a certain age, usually three years, or if it is only evident in one leg, and is only getting progressively worse. The podiatrist will recommend a treatment course for the bowlegs depending on the underlying cause. For example, if it is a result of rickets, then changing your child's diet to include more calcium and vitamin D helps. Wearing a cast or braces are also excellent options, and in some cases, the podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Painful Flat feet
Some babies are born with flat feet, but the arches develop later on as they grow. For others, the arches don't fully develop, and in most cases, this condition doesn't interfere with walking or the ability to engage in active sports. However, you should see a podiatrist if your flat-footed child complains of pain or has trouble walking. In this case, the foot doctor may recommend arch-support inserts or insoles, which help restore function and reduce pain.
Should you keep waiting for your child to outgrow it or see a podiatrist? Definitely the latter, as you are better off erring on the side of caution with your child's foot health. You should book an appointment if you notice these, among other signs.Share