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.
Young feet have spaces between the bones which allow for bone growth. A foot does not become fully ossified until nearly the age of 21. Therefore, a young foot can be manipulated more easily to be placed in an improved biomechanical position.
Improved biomechanical position = Improved movement performance = No pain
- As an example if a child has flat feet they can also be knocked kneed. This can cause a slow progressive deformity of the feet and ankles leading to hip and knee joint deterioration and eventually lower back pain. The damage is being done at a young age but will not be felt until they get older. Prevention is so much easier than cure.
- With the correct regime of treatment a lot of problems and irreversible damage can be avoided or the severity of the problem lessened dramatically.
Trying to get the feet and lower limbs into a more normal functioning anatomy = Improved function and performance = Reduced likelihood of pain and deformity.
Another way of understanding why it is so important to look after your child’s feet is the domino effect. If there is one area of pain, there is bound to be another area of pain as there is not one muscle that does one job. They all help each other out so they compensate for one another which can lead to pain in and around the same area or further up the body. This can be the knees, hips and lower back.
Or the symphony orchestra, one bad note ruins the whole performance. Keep all notes in tune the rest will follow suit.
Starting with treatment from the feet up is often the best approach. Keep your childs’ feet happy for life!!!!
To have your child’s foot health checked, call Kew Foot Clinic on 03 9853 6877 to make an appointment.