Developing structures in children’s feet can get injured in several ways during playtime. Certain medical conditions can also affect the normal growth of their feet.
While you can treat some forms of children’s foot pain at home, others warrant a visit to a specialist.
Here are some tell-tale signs you need to take your child to a foot doctor.
1. Visible Deformity
Since their bodies are still developing, children sometimes experience mechanical problems. A common pediatric condition involving the abnormal development of the feet is flatfeet. This disorder happens when the arches don’t develop normally, causing almost the entire foot to touch the ground.
Most people outgrow flatfeet during childhood. However, some individuals never develop foot arches. While often harmless, flatfeet can cause chronic foot pain. It may also contribute to ankle and knee problems later on due to abnormal leg alignment.
In addition to flat feet, you should also watch out for clubfoot in your children. Clubfoot is an umbrella term for a range of foot abnormalities that are present at birth. It may look like:
- A foot bent out of shape
- Shorter leg or foot than the other
- Underdeveloped calf muscles
If you spot a deformity in your child’s feet, it’s worth checking in with a foot doctor. A podiatrist can perform a thorough medical evaluation. Depending on the diagnosis, they may prescribe physical therapy, orthotics, or arch supports, among others, to correct the deformity.
2. Heel Pain
The heel is a weight-bearing part of the foot that is vulnerable to disease and injury. A common condition that causes this symptom is Sever’s disease. Kids ages 8 to 14 are the most susceptible. At this stage, the muscles, tendons, bones, and cartilage grow rapidly, making them more vulnerable to injury.
As a result, children going through a growth spurt often experience heel pain. Fortunately, most kids outgrow Sever’s disease. You can help manage your child’s painful symptoms through conservative treatment methods like rest and medication.
If you want personalized care, you can visit a foot doctor for guidance. They can recommend footwear and specific exercises to reduce pain and strengthen the muscles.
3. Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails are common among children. It develops when the toenail grows into the skin, causing pain, redness, and swelling. These usually form because of improper nail cutting or ill-fitting shoes.
You can treat your child’s ingrown toenails by soaking the affected toe in warm water and placing sterile cotton on the edge of the nail. However, in some cases, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Improper removal of ingrown toenails may cause complications down the line. In some cases, it can cause an infection that affects the underlying bone.
4. Gait Problems
Some foot disorders can affect the way your child walks and carries themself. One such condition is plantar warts, which you can identify as skin growths on the bottom of the foot. These growths usually form on the heel or other weight-bearing areas.
If your child has plantar warts, they might find it painful to put their weight on one area of the foot. They may compensate by putting more weight on the other leg while walking. If you notice any gait-related problems with your child, consider visiting a foot doctor.
5. Persistent Pain After Sports Injury
The feet and ankles are common sites of sports injuries. For instance, kids can sprain their ankles when they change direction suddenly while running. The abrupt pivot can strain the ligament supporting the ankle, causing swelling, instability, and pain.
Another common injury that shares similar symptoms with a sprain is a fracture. This injury happens when there is sudden excessive pressure on a bone, causing it to break.
Home remedies can provide pain relief, but if pain persists for several days, your child’s injury may be more severe than it seems. It can be difficult to ascertain the extent of sports injuries in the foot on your own, so it’s worth it to consult with a foot doctor. They can order imaging tests to check which musculoskeletal structures are affected and craft an appropriate treatment plan.
Treatment For Children Foot Pain In Cincinnati, Ohio
If you see any one of these signs in your child, consult with a foot doctor right away. We at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care provide comprehensive care for pediatric foot disorders and injuries.
Our expert team of podiatrists will carry out an in-depth assessment of your child’s condition. We will make sure to develop a treatment plan to relieve foot pain and correct any deformities. You can trust our team to get your child up and running in no time.
To schedule an appointment with our podiatrists, contact us at any of our 18 locations across Southwest Ohio, or fill out our online appointment request form.