Children's foot problems differ slightly from adult foot problems. Their feet are growing and changing constantly. This in itself is a unique attribute to children's feet that can cause problems. It's often fairly easy to treat these issues. Additionally, it's best to resolve any problems at a young age rather than prolonging their treatment into adulthood. Conditions that are left untreated may get worse with time.
Below are some of the conditions that we see most often in children. All of them are generally easily treatable.
Flat Feet – This condition can be identified by the lack of arch a foot typically has. Many children have flat feet and it is actually normal at a young age. Arches take a while to develop and usually appear by the age of five or eight. It is one of our most common conditions we see amongst children. However, children with flat feet can undergo pain. This is due to the lack of support provided by the arch. We often treat this by prescribing orthotics for structural alignment and physiotherapy for flexibility.
In-Toeing – Someone with this condition will walk with their toes pointed inwards. We often see this in younger children. Walking with toes pointed inwards isn't necessarily bad. However, when someone with in-toeing attempts to walk straight problems can occur because the body is compensating unnaturally. This can cause also cause toe dragging and become a tripping hazard. Sometimes this issue is self-resolved by the body but if it isn't we'll usually treat it with orthotics.
Toe Walking – An individual that toe-walks will be seen leading a stride with the ball of their foot rather than their heel. Many children that are learning to walk will exhibit this gait. Often kids will grow out of it by the age of two. However, if a child continues to toe walk it can create problems for the rest of the body such as tight calves. Toe walking can be a cause of behaviour, calf tightness, and or other conditions. To treat this we often prescribe orthotics with a special forefoot extension to discourage the constant lifting of the heel.
The treatments mentioned above can be further researched below.