Optometry, dentistry, pediatrics, podiatry: these are all specialties your child can benefit from! However, even though most kids go to the eye doctor, dentist, or pediatrician every year, not all of them see a podiatrist.
As your child heads back to school, it’s important to remember that their feet need just as much attention as the rest of their body. Many childhood foot problems that might go unnoticed can worsen if left untreated and can cause pain and difficulty when walking or participating in sports.
That’s why it’s crucial to take your child for regular pediatric podiatry appointments, even if they seem to have healthy feet. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of pediatric foot care and some common foot problems that affect children.
Foot Problems Affect People Of All Ages
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, only 2 in 10 Americans think about their foot health regularly(opens in a new tab). Despite this, 8 in 10 have experienced a foot problem.
It's possible, then, that many adults aren't thinking about their children's foot health, either. However, foot problems are not just an adult concern—children can experience foot pain and difficulties as well. Moreover, if left untreated, these problems can worsen and lead to long-term consequences.
There are many different foot problems that can affect children, but some are more common than others. Some of the most frequent problems we see in our office include:
- Heel pain
- Arch problems
- Ingrown toenails
- Flat feet
It’s essential to take your children to regular podiatry appointments to ensure that any problems are caught early on and treated properly. Even if your child doesn’t have any symptoms, their feet should be checked at least once a year by a qualified professional.
Children's Feet Are Constantly Growing And Changing
If you've had to take your kid shoe shopping multiple times this year, you know better than anyone that your child's feet are constantly growing and changing. In fact, children's feet can grow up to a size and a half each year!
This rapid growth can sometimes lead to problems, such as bunions, blisters, or Sever's disease. Sever's disease is a condition that causes heel pain in children and is often seen in active kids between the ages of seven and fifteen. Though Sever's disease usually goes away on its own with time, it can be extremely painful. However, there are treatments available that can help to speed up the healing process and relieve pain.
Your child's feet are essential for their overall health and well-being, so it's important to take care of them. During a pediatric podiatry appointment, your child's feet will be examined for any existing or potential problems.
If you're concerned about your child's feet, or if they've been complaining of pain, don't hesitate to make an appointment with the experts at Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists. Early intervention is key when it comes to foot problems—the sooner they're caught and treated, the better.
Kids Can Have The Same Foot And Ankle Issues As Adults
Though we think of kids as being naturally healthy because of their youth, they can actually have the same foot and ankle problems as adults. Plus, active kids who play sports or run around on the playground are even more likely to experience an injury. The most common problems we see in children are sports injuries and foot and ankle disorders like:
- Sprains and strains: Strains and sprains are typically caused by overstretching or tearing the ligaments, muscles, or tendons. These injuries can be extremely painful and may require immobilization or physical therapy to heal properly.
- Fractures: Fractures can occur when the bone is hit with enough force to break. This can happen from a fall, a direct blow, or overuse. The most common type of fracture we see in children is a stress fracture, which is caused by repetitive impact and usually affects the bones in the feet and lower legs.
- Dislocations: Dislocations occur when the bones in a joint are forced out of alignment. This can happen from a fall or direct blow.
- Plantar fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes heel pain and is typically seen in adults. However, children who are very active can also develop plantar fasciitis.
These types of injuries can be extremely painful and, in extreme cases, may require surgery to correct. For any child, foot and ankle care is an important factor in staying healthy and injury-free. If you're seeking out a sports medicine podiatrist for your child, look no further than Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists Can Help
At Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our patients. Our experts treat a variety of foot conditions that affect people of all ages. The members of our team specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of foot conditions using state-of-the-art technology like x-rays, open MRIs, cold laser therapy, and more.
Proper foot care is essential for kids of all ages—not just those who are kids at heart. So while you're scheduling your child's next appointment with their eye doctor or dentist, keep their feet in mind!
At Northern Illinois Foot and Ankle Specialists, we provide expert care for the whole family, from the littlest kids to the oldest adults. Whether you're dealing with heel pain or in need of reconstructive surgery, we're here for you. Schedule an appointment with us to get started!