Mum, My Feet Hurt! Two Signs Your Child's Discomfort Is Not Just A Growing Pain

When your child is growing up it is hard sometimes to distinguish between what are normal growing pains, and what is something that needs specialist help, like that of Essendon Foot Clinic. Untreated paediatric foot problems can follow your child in their adult years. However, the older they grow, the more difficult that treatment can be. Here are two sources of foot pain that you should seek professional opinions on, so that your child can get back to having a lot more fun when they run.

Flat Feet

Have you noticed your child complaining of tired feet or legs? Do they seem to be slow when compared to their friends during active play time? If so, it may be that they are suffering from flat feet.

This medical condition occurs when your child's foot is not developing an arch. The arch is the underneath part of the foot that runs from the heel through to the pad beneath the start of the toes. The arch starts to take shape once your child turns four, and foot development should be completed by the age of 10. Lack of balance and bad co-ordination are both signs of flat feet.

Flat feet in children are more likely to be treated when it comes with accompanying pain. When pain is not present, your podiatrist may choose to wait and see if the arch develops naturally. This is particularly true for those who are closer to 4 than 10. If treatment is recommended, orthotic shoes will be ordered by your podiatrist.

Technology is making changes to the advancement of these shoes every day. There is an American designer who is using the latest in three dimensional printing to make changes to the ways that orthotics can work. She has created a process where individually designed orthotics can be prepared using photos of the patient's foot, and they are then literally printed out using a specialist 3D printer.

Orthotics sit within the shoes of your child, and they train the arch to develop within the foot. Think of it as having a small bridge within the sole of the shoe that artificially pushes the arch of the foot upwards. It will restore stability and balance to your child while they are playing.

If the foot pain is resonating from the back of the foot, then you are looking at another problem altogether.

Sever's Disease

If your child is aged between 8 and 14, and their foot pain is radiating from the heel area, then it is possible that your child is suffering from Calcaneal Apophysitis which is also known as Sever's disease.

This disorder occurs when the heel plate is trying to grow, but it comes across a disturbance in the cartilage. Inflammation then occurs, and this is what is responsible for the pain that your child experiences.

Sever's disease is more common in children who are actively playing sport, and your podiatrist may recommend that they take a break or reduce their playing time while the inflammation recedes, and the heel plate finishes its growth spurt. If this is not an option for you, then two other courses of treatment are open:

  • Limiting the amount of barefoot activities your child does. This is because each time your child goes out barefoot, there is nothing to support the heel when it hits the open ground.
  • A heel raise that is inserted into your child's shoe can absorb the shock being placed on the back of the foot. This will make sure the heel doesn't get banged up too much while it already is in an agitated state.

Your child's podiatrist is the best source of advice regarding foot inserts for your child's shoes. Constant foot pain should never be chalked up to growing pains if it lasts longer than a week. Instead, place some faith in the advance of paediatric feet care, and give your child the items they need so they finally can stand (comfortably) on their own two feet.