Flat feet and children

                                               Children’s Sport

Kids are competitors. All ball sports require a lot of high intensity running, which means their growing bones and muscles are subjected to high levels of force. It is safe to say that most competitive athletes are at risk of developing either acute or chronic problems. There are many variables that play a role in the development of injuries.

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, aimed at checking whether children with “flat feet” (pronated feet) became more fatigued or had their performance impacted compared to children with “normal arches”. The study found that the children with flat feet fatigued more, felt more pain in both their feet and lower extremities than the other group. 61.9% of the children from the flat foot group felt pain after activity compared to the 7.9% of children in the “normal” group. This foot posture places them at greater risk of Severs or Osgood Schlatters.

Flat feet:

It is important as a parent and a children’s podiatrist to work out when to treat your child’s flat foot. With children, the problem with flat feet is when there is pain in the foot and lower limb, or their posture and performance is impacted.  You can read more about flat feet in children here: https://reformpodiatry.com.au/blog/the-importance-of-assessing-your-childs-foot/

Severs:

Severs disease is the inflammation of the growth plate in the heel of kids often between the ages of 8-14. Severs can be misdiagnosed as “growing pains” and parents are told there is nothing they can do for their painful children. This is incorrect and avoidable. When the leg bones grow quickly in an active child the tendon will become tight and painful. Activities such as running and jumping will exacerbate symptoms.

Treatment for severs is often multifactorial and will can often include stretching, changing boots/shoes and fitting orthotics, giving your future superstar the best opportunity to compete unrestricted.

A condition such as severs can be picked up and treated early with your expert children’s podiatrist. We all know prevention is better than the cure.

Boot or Shoe Selection:

Did you know boots are made up of an upper, insole, midsole and studs all which play a fundamental role in supporting the foot. The varieties of these features can either exacerbate or improve symptoms. Through thorough clinical examination your children’s podiatrist can prescribe the correct boot or shoe for both the activity and the foot.

Stretches:

Self explanatory this last point. Kids should always have adequate warm up, cool down and stretching time. Growth is disproportionate in children. Bone will grow faster than soft tissue. The soft tissue has to stretch to increase to the bone length. This period places them at greater risk of strains or tears. Warming the muscles up through dynamic movements pre activity and cooling down with stretching will reduce the risk of these restricting injuries.

Your expert podiatrist in Camden believes proactive treatment is better than reactive treatment. A comprehensive biomechanical assessment will often identify painful, restrictive children specific problems before they have become increasingly obvious.

Reference click here

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