Children’s Foot Problems

What are Children’s Foot Problems?

Children develop a whole range of foot problems in the same way as adults can. For example, they can range from Athlete’s Foot to Verrucae as well as structural conditions such as flat feet and Sever’s Disease.

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Why do Children develop Foot Problems?

From birth to walking, children’s feet have to adapt from non-weightbearing to carrying their body weight and propelling them forwards at around 14 months of age.
The feet then continue to grow and change along with the rest of the body.
If feet were allowed to be bare, the muscles would grow in strength and help the feet to form naturally.
Going barefoot is not practical in our cold, wet climate. Shoes protect the feet, but they also affect the development of the muscles within the foot because the shoes support the feet so well. Shoes can also create a warm, moist environment, which makes the feet more prone to infections and in-growing toe nails.

How do we treat Painful Children’s feet?

There are many different possible causes of pain in children’s feet. We will carefully assess your child’s problem by looking at where the pain is, when it happens, and how it affects their activities. We would also watch them walking and running if necessary, to ensure that we understand why the problem has arisen.
Once we have a full understanding of what the problem is and how it developed, we will formulate an individual treatment plan which will give your child the best chance of a full return to activities.

Do we treat flat feet?

One of the first things we do is to asses your child’s family history. Foot structure is genetic so we need to find out if other members of the family have had problems. Some flat feet are just low arched and normal for them. Some top sprinters have very low arches.
We will look at your child walking, and running if appropriate, to assess the general function of the foot, ankle and lower limb.
If the structure and function of the foot is affected by an abnormally low arch, we would look at the causes and treat accordingly, with a combination of footwear and orthotics.

Children’s Painful Heels

Painful heels are common in sporty children. The two most common causes are Sever’s disease and plantar fasciitis.

Sever’s disease
This is also called Calcaneal Apophysitis. It is where the pull on the calf muscles is strong due to a growth spurt of the long bones of the leg and it may cause inflammation and pain in the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneum)
How do we treat Sever’s Disease?
Once we have assessed your child fully, we are likely to prescribe a combination of exercise moderation, cold therapy, footwear, orthotics, stretching and hands on therapy to help improve the neural and muscular mobility.

Plantar Fasciitis
Read about Plantar Fasciitis

How do we treat Children’s Verruca/ Verrucae?

How we will treat your child’s verruca depends on your child and how the verruca is affecting them. Please see our guide to the verruca for more information.

Children’s in-growing toe nails

Why Do Children Get In-Growing Toe nails?
Children are prone to in-growing toe nails because they are active and they are in shoes for much of the day. This creates a warm, moist environment so the skin gets moist and more delicate. If a nail has a sharp corner it is more likely to pierce the skin which becomes sore and inflamed.

How do we Treat In-Growing toe nails?
Sometimes we are able to gently remove the spike of nail from the skin which will ease the pain immediately. This may well settle down and we will teach your child how to cut their toe nails so that they are smooth. If this is not possible because of the shape of the nail (it maybe wide or over curved), we will suggest a gentle procedure called a Partial Nail Avulsion which we carry out under a local anaesthetic. This is 95% successful so is a widely used treatment.

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