Kids Foot pain can stop healthy development to adulthood
Kids Foot pain can stop healthy development to adulthood - The answer? Kids need to be active!
Sounds simple right? How many times have you found yourself saying “just go outside and play”! There is something in us all that says our kids should be active, we just know it! Our team motto is "Happy Healthy and Active!"
If you’ve ever thought it well, guess what, the science says you’re right! There is more and more and MORE evidence that kids need to be active, and that being active helps them as adults.
A recent study showed that kids that played ball sports, particularly before the age of 10, HALVED their chance of stress fractures! Each year of playing reduced the chance by another 13%! Game of footy anyone?
Kids, in particular girls who jump or skip as children, have been shown to significantly (like stacks of benefit shown by oodles of research) decrease their risk of osteoporosis as they age!
Now that we know it makes muscles and bones strong and wards of health problems you can help, But also consider the social aspects of sport; Team work, developing an appreciation of winning and losing - no, everyone does not win a prize; effort and reward!
Kids also develop social skills such as friendship development, dealing with people that they don’t like and doing things they don’t like having to do. Ever had to do something for someone at work that you didn’t like and didn’t want to do? Yup, let’s all learn how to deal with that when kids or be unemployable as adults!
So, there is little argument that sport and making sure kids stay active is super Dooper important. Guess what you can’t do exercise or jumping with foot or leg pain.
We have covered in previous blogs the fact that kids do not have to wait to grow out of their pain this is a complete MYTH!!
Another myth is that a reasonable treatment for kids foot or leg pain is stopping activity. Now that we know the significant benefits of sport in kids telling them that they should simply stop because of pain is, in my opinion, at the very least irresponsible but possibly reprehensible! Particularly when we know there are therapies that can reduce this pain and get them quickly into sport
Foot and leg pain is a real problem for many kids stopping them doing activities that we know are essential for their development. Severs disease, Plantar fasciitis, shin splints knee pain are all treatable!
Let’s make sure we get on top of kids foot and leg pain and ensure that they grow up happy healthy and active !
Want more information? That's fantastic. There's stacks of videos that we've made. Look down below. There's most likely a link there, or check us out on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all the normal socials because we've got stacks of educational videos on heel pain and all the other conditions that we look after. Thanks and stay happy, healthy and active.
ABOUT DR BRENDEN BROWN
Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.
* No medical treatment can guarantee 100% success. Registered medical and health professions in Australia are by law not allowed to guarantee success. This comes as a result of all human bodies reacting differently to treatments. Patients should thoroughly consider all treatment options available to them.
Beach season often means bare feet for littlies, but without the protection of sandals or trainers the result can be splinters, sunburned feet, blisters and grazed toes—not to mention a fungal infection. So before your kids rush out to play with nothing on their precious feet, make sure they know the potential dangers that could cause them some serious foot pain.
No shoes, no play
“Going bare foot means kids need to navigate their way across griddle-hot pavements, avoid sharp stones, stray glass and objects they could stub their toes on,” says Dr Brenden.
Yet the reality is most kids aren’t great at avoiding foot hazards—so caring for kids’ feet starts with enforcing the rule ‘no shoes, no play!’
Thongs are commonly the go-to shoes for summers down under, but while they have their place (by the poolside, in public showers and at the beach), they’re not ideal for the health of our feet.
Dr Brenden explains, “Constant thong wearing can result in arch and heel strain, blisters and cracked feet. If possible, choose a pair of lightweight runners or sandals that are easy to put on and take off but will also provide your child with the foot support they need for their growing feet.”
Blisters are commonplace in summer, due to the hot, humid weather. Thongs, in particular, can cause blisters between the toes and across the tops of the feet where the plastic strap rubs the skin. Likewise, trainers can also cause blisters at the back of the heel and between the toes.
To protect your child from blisters, ensure they wear clean socks with their trainers and apply foot balm or Vaseline to culprit areas to help stop the chaffing.
If a blister does develop, don’t pop it. Use a special blister plaster as this protects the blister and helps to remove some of the pressure.
Say no to splinters
Splinters can be really painful and uncomfortable for children, especially if they’re on the soles of the foot. If you’re lucky and the splinter is sticking out far enough you might be able to pull it out wit tweezers. If not, soak the foot in warm water for a few minutes until the skin softens. Use sterilized tweezers to grasp the object at the site where it emerges from the skin and pull it out.
If using tweezers fails, take a sterilized needle and carefully slit the skin above the splinter. Then use the tweezers to remove the object from the foot.
Wash the area with warm, soapy water, dry thoroughly and apply some antiseptic to safeguard against infection.
Protecting against cuts and grazes is one thing, but keeping any existing foot injuries covered to avoid infection is essential too. If you’re sick of Band-Aids falling off, try a silicone gel.
Banish the burn
There are a number of areas of the body that are prone to sunburn—simply because these are the spots we all tend to forget to apply sunscreen to. One such area is the top of the feet. So when applying sunscreen, don’t stop at your kid’s ankles, make sure you spread sunscreen over their feet and toes too.
Teaching kids the importance of optimal foot care will not only help to protect their feet during summer, it will help promote a lifetime of foot health.
Dr Brenden’s top tips for taking care of children’s feet in summer
Trim toenails and keep them short
Limit time spent wearing thongs
Wash feet daily with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly
Ensure your kids wear clean socks
After wearing trainers leave them in the sun to dry
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to their feet
Encourage kids to wear lightweight summer shoes to prevent splinters, grazes and stubbed toes.
Want to know more about taking care of kids’ feet? Visit: mykidsfootdoctor.com.au or check out these related articles:
A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care is one of Sydney’s leading foot and ankle clinics. Principal podiatrist and founder of A Step Ahead Dr Brenden Brown (AKA Dr Foot) has been taking care of people’s feet for more than 20 years. With a background in sports medicine and having served as a former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Brenden is a wealth of information when it comes to foot and ankle care.
Growing Pains- More than just pain from growing – A case study
Sam is 10-years-old. He’s a great kid who loves being active, but there’s a problem and it’s getting worse. Sam plays football in winter and, in summer, he’s a cricket fanatic. Apart from these regular sports he’s running about at school and is, yes your average Aussie kid!
Sam’s mum and dad brought him into A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care because, despite being a very happy and active kid, Sam is waking up a couple of nights a week with pain in his lower legs. When he wakes he wants his mum to rub his legs because they ache and are sore. Sam’s mum Beth has used heat packs and paracetamol which does take the pain away after a while but, as Beth says, “They aren’t fixing the cause”.
A key factor is that fact Sam’s parents recognised that the pain sometimes came on in the night after Sam had quite active days, like sports days or family activities with lots of walking.
Visiting the GP, Physio and Dr Google
Sam’s parents took their son to a GP who sent them to see a Physiotherapist. While the physio was nice and showed Sam some stretching and did a couple of massages, these again helped at the time but didn’t stop the problem from coming back. After chatting to the GP their opinion was that this was “Just growing pains”—something Sam would have to get used to, and that he would simply “Grow out of it”. Frustrated with a fantastic but upset little boy, Sam’s parents felt they needed another opinion.
Sam’s mum Beth jumped onto Dr Google and found herself even more confused. Some parents were recommending vitamin supplements, others recommended oils and others suggested all kinds of home remedies. She then found herself on Facebook asking other parents for help. This is where a friend of Beth’s recommended our practitioners at A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle Care.
Finally some answers
When our practitioners assessed Sam it became pretty clear there was more than just some kind of phantom pain going on. We undertook a detailed walk and run assessment, along with some measurements and testing on Sam’s muscles. Nothing was invasive and everything we do is done in a fun, friendly and non-confronting environment. After a short while we established that Sam’s feet were rolling in a lot and his arches where a little flat. In essence Sam had pretty poor foot posture. What this meant is that the muscles in Sam’s lower legs were over working to try and give his poor foot posture support.
This meant that a big day on his feet, like a family outing, a busy day at school or doing sports caused his muscles to work even harder. This led to them getting sore, not necessarily at the time of the injury, mostly at night several hours after the muscles had rested.
Helping fight “growing pains”
To help Sam we gave him a custom-made pair of orthotic insoles. These are made from a soft material so are very comfortable to wear but provided support for the rolling of his ankle. We took a 3D scan of Sam’s foot and video recorded his walking patterns using our specialised assessment software. The orthotics are then designed using our computer-aided design software. Next step is to make the orthotics, which is done in our on-site Orthotic laboratory by our technicians and overseen by our podiatrist.
After fitting his new orthotics into a new pair of runners that we recommended, Sam headed on his way feeling comfortable to return in a couple of weeks. We prescribed some stretching to work with his orthoses and suggested that we may need to follow this up with a specialised massage to relax his muscles as his orthoses took over and began doing their job.
A couple of weeks later a very relieved set of parents and Sam returned to our clinic. In a little over two weeks the orthoses had started to do their thing. Sam had only had pain in his legs once since starting to wear his orthoses and this was after a very big day, his school athletics carnival! After only a couple of weeks we expected this to decrease so we asked them to return in another month at which time they reported Sam to be pain free!! Sam’s parents also reported that he was much more comfortable at sport as well. They were overjoyed; they had their happy, healthy little boy back!
Growing pains ARE TREATABLE in most cases. While many well-meaning health practitioners may say you have to wait and outgrow growing pains, there are alternatives. Our practitioners have had the pleasure of helping many kids with this same problem. It’s what we love to do! Helping kids become pain free, happy, healthy and active is a privilege. If you would like to help your little one to become pain free, please give our helpful reception team a call on +61 9673 2987 or 4732 2007. You can also see find us on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/podiatristsydney
5 quick signs you need to see a Podiatrist (Foot Doctor)
Kids feet are different to Adults feet! Its the building blocks to making sure our kids enjoy activity
Have you been through this?
Grandma's are great at spotting it. Your friends aren't bad. The Shoe shop lady is often a superstar at it! But lets face it you've got a lot on and the occasional "Mum" or "Dad I am" ........ shhhhhhhh I have stuff to do! "Just a second but Mum ..... my feet are sore! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat!
So you drag the kids down to the plaza and seek out the closest and “best” footwear retailer you know. (Same woman you remember saying vaguely about it last year.) But on the way or while you are there, some funny things happen! You mention it to your “grandma” and she asks about your little ones “Flat feet” and asks have you had them checked! "Remember I mentioned it to you?" Hmm then you head to the shoe shop and the lady who is fitting the shoes asks the same thing. “Have you thought about seeing a Podiatrist” - WOW that's twice now - Houston we have a problem!
Kids and flat feet, growing pains, tripping falling and all that normal stuff!
It’s not the only time someone may say it but it happens and we hear about it when Parents bring their youngsters into us confused with quotes like “I am not really sure if I should even be here?” So after seeing literally 1000’s and 1000’s of kids over my 20 years of practice I thought maybe a quick check list may help parent on what are the reason you bring your kids to see me !
Here is my quick 6 checklist – these are the reasons I WOULD bring my child to see a Podiatrist!
1. Flat feet. I thought I’d throw this on the mix pretty early as it’s often a reason people are told they need to see a Pod. It can be confusing and often it seems like there is conflicting advice. Here is my rule – If your little one is ONLY flat footed and does NOT have any of the following, you may well be perfectly ok the way they are now! However if they have Flat feet and ANY of the following YOU NEED TO SEE OUR PODIATRISTS !
2. Tripping or falling. You may notice it or it may take someone to mention it to you. With little reason and sometimes without notice your little one trips! Sometimes it seems justified other times it seems like they tripped over a blade of grass! Somethings happening here and yes we may need to take a look.
3. Pain at night or Growing Pains. If your little one wakes at night with pain in their legs, ankles or feet its more than likely time to see one of our team. Now it can be confusing at times you will take them to see a GP and sadly very sadly they will say “Its growing pains” Grrrr 9/10 you can attribute this pain can be treated and you don’t have to wait for them to “grow out of it” If your little one has “Growing Pains” or anything else like that sounds or smells like this – Visit` our team!
4. Kids that don’t like walking or avoid activity. Some kids seem like they are always whinging, you are out shopping or with the family and out on a long walk or other family activity and your child wants to “Sit down” or “stop”. Often we simply think our kids are being Lazy. However for a good proportion of these kids it’s got to do with their poor foot posture making walking harder and yes they are actually in pain! Sometimes kids don’t even realise they are uncomfortable (Its ok, we realise it sounds strange) they just know they want to stop! We have fixed kids foot posture and seen a change that means these kids go from not wanting to walk to almost running!
5. Unusual wear on old footwear. Have you noticed that your kids shoes seem to lean to one side after a couple of months or even weeks? Have you noticed they wear out the toes and have simply blamed it on loads of Handball? This again is in our top 5 reasons for needing to see one of our team!
6. Sore feet or pain at any times. (Ok so this is a sneaky Reason 6!) It seems simple but if your child has sore feet it means they need to see a Podiatrist. NO you don’t need a referral (Permission slip) from your GP simply call and we will help. YES It’s what we do, we LOVE seeing kids because delightfully they often respond really well and very quickly to our treatment – and who doesn’t like a big smile!
So if your kids have ANY of the above Grandma and the shoe shop lady are actually on the money! If not then guess what you can fairly confidentially not worry!
As we have said above, we LOVE seeing kids. We are very lucky in that we see literally hundreds every year! If you have any of these problems or any other foot or ankle complaints please let us know! We are located in 2 spots in Western Sydney both conveniently located minutes from the M4 and with parking right out the front. Please call our helpful team on 96732987 and our team will answer any questions and help with making times to see our Podiatrists.
Dr Brenden Brown (BB) Podiatrist For the team at A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle care
Tripping, falling, clumsy or Growing pains – Is it really normal?
Is growing really responsible for your little one’s discomfort?
So, your little one is having a tough time and, therefore, so are you! There’s something not quite right but you just can’t put your finger on it.
Perhaps they seem clumsy, or they trip and fall a little more than their friends of the same age. Maybe they don’t want to walk distances. Perhaps it appears they tire out more than the other kids. Sound familiar?
One of the most frustrating things for a parent or carer is having a child that, for no know apparent reason, wakes at night with pain in their feet legs and lower limbs. Often they’ll be in tears with pain. You’ve tried massaging them, or heat packs. You may have tried Panadol and Nurofen.
What you need is answers!
You head to the GP to tell them the things you’ve noticed. Frustratingly you’re told, “they will grow out of it” or…
“it’s growing pains” or…
“All kids get that” or …
“There’s nothing that you can do” or…
“Oh, it’s completely normal”
Whaaaaaat – You scream!!!
Well we don’t think it’s normal and thereis something you can do!
All of the above are classic symptoms we see and recognise as signs your child has foot and lower limb posture problems, and this most certainly CAN be treated.
Getting rid of your child’s pain
We see hundreds of kids who present with their parents with very similar complaints each and every year. Frustrated parents with children who are looking for answers.
One of the most rewarding things about being a practitioner is getting these kids back to health, activity and pain free! To do this we start by running through a detailed history. We examine walking, standing and posture.
We will then recommend treatment aimed at stopping the pain and making your child comfortable (and happy!) again. We provide useful suggestions around footwear, prescribe therapies like massage or orthotics alongside possibly stretching and muscle strength exercises – all aimed at kids and designed to be kid friendly!
Results that make you smile!
There is nothing better than seeing a once uncomfortable child who woke at night crying sitting in your office with a big smile! With parents who have equally enormous smiles!
Parents get to see their once-clumsy-child running around without as many grazed knees. Many mums feel relieved that they no longer have to continuously pick up their child or push them endlessly in the pram because they can now walk distances complaint free!
As a clinic we see numerous kids each week, and we LOVE it! There is little greater than knowing you’ve made someone else’s life just a little bit better. It’s quite addictive.
In an age where we find ourselves complaining that our kids need to “get outside and play more” or we’re constantly saying “put your device down” it’s important that we make certain that they have the ability to be active – without pain.
Too many times we have meet frustrated parents and upset kids who come into our office after being told there is nothing they can do only to find they could have been making things better weeks months or even years earlier!
Is this sounds all too familiar, we’d like to help. Perhaps this is something that a friend or relative may benefit from. If that’s the case we’d love you to share it with them so they can find relief!
A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care is based in Western Sydney. We have multiple practitioners with loads of experience treating kids! Its our passion!
If you’d like more information please contact our helpful front desk team. They are brilliant at working through what help you need, guiding you to the appointment that is right for your family, running through costings and then reserving your appointment time. Call us today on +61 2 9673 2987 we look forward to helping.
Contact us at 9673 2987 with questions we want to truly understand what’s happening at present with your foot and leg pain if you are ready we will set up your initial appointment.
Learn more about your condition - Check out over 40 Educational videos our team has prepared on our Facebook page. From heel pain, and what’s the best shoes, to ball of foot pain; it’s all there.
Speak to A Foot Doctor - Reserve your free 10 minute review with one of our qualified Sports Podiatrists to review where you are up to and discuss what are your next best treatment options. (Availability limited due to demand)
Try our Heel Pain Treatment advisor. Answer 7 simple questions to get a quick, reliable report on what treatment options you should be considering!