There are many causes of foot pain in children. Fortunately, most children’s foot problems are easily treated if diagnosis is made early enough.
All children should get their teeth checked by a dentist. It is just as important to get their feet checked by a Podiatrist.
Commonly children don’t complain of any pain or discomfort despite having flat feet or alignment problems. This is because their muscles and ligaments are generally very flexible so they can accommodate mal-alignment and tracking of the muscles and joint attachments without feeling any discomfort.
Therefore it is very important that a Podiatrist checks a young foot for any problems. Many problems go undetected because the child does not complain of any pain and the issues are not noticed until later in life.
Common causes of foot pain in children:
- Flat Feet
- Pidgeon Toed (Intoed gait)
- Knock Knees – Knee pain (usually caused by poor foot alignment and fatigue of the muscles and tendons)
- Children’s Growing Pains
- Aching Feet
- Severs Disease (Heel and Achilles tendon pain)
- Childrens’ sports injuries
Flat Feet are when the arches have flattened or collapsed. The ankle rolls in excessively causing a bulge on the inside of the foot.
Flat feet place excessive strain on the muscles, tendons and ligaments, leading to poor lower leg alignment and function and thus can cause pain in the feet, legs, knees, hips and back.
There are multiple causes of flat feet. It is important that your child is assessed by one of our experienced podiatrists to determine the best treatment outcome for your child. Depending on the age of your child will also determine when treatment is necessary and the degree of management required.
Many toddlers walk with their feet pointing inwards. In many cases the child will grow out of this without intervention somewhere between the ages of 3 to 5. However, if the intoeing continues and your child is frequently falling over and appears awkward and clumsy, it is important to seek advice as early as possible as this needs to be clinically assessed. Our trained podiatrists will be able to assess the child and determine if the problem is coming from the foot or hip or in some cases both and can treat successfully in most cases if treated early enough.
Knock knees is where the child’s knees are pointing inwards. This is often caused by flat feet and can lead to foot deformity and other lower leg pathology. We strongly recommend that your child be assessed as treatment can prevent further pathology and stop pain.
Some children wake up in bed at night complaining of aching legs. Often parents rub their children’s legs to provide comfort. These aches are called “growing pains”. There is often a reason why this occurs and should be investigated properly.
These episodes of pain usually coincide with significant growth spurts. Growing pains commonly occur in the calf muscles, causing pain in the heels and at the front of the knee. There are 2 diseases that are related to growth spurts in children. Severs disease is diagnosed in the Achilles tendon area and Osgood-Schlatters in the knee.
Both these conditions are usually found when the child has a fast growth spurt and the bones have grown faster than the soft tissues causing strain and stress at the insertion points of the tendons.
If the feet are flat and the arches collapsing this puts excessive strain on the joints of feet, muscles, tendons and ligaments and ultimately causes fatigue and in turn sets up an inflammatory response causing pain and aching feet.
Severs Disease is a common cause of heel pain in children between the age of 8 and 15 years of age, and in particular children who are very physically active.
Children are generally very active in sport and can be prone to getting a number of different sporting related injuries. Some are due to excessive overuse of muscles causing fatigue and some are from poor foot biomechanics and lower leg muscle alignment and tracking of the muscles into their attachment.
If your child suffers from any of these foot problems, call Kew Foot Clinic on 03 9853 6877 to make an appointment for the appropriate treatment.