Most people are unaware that many common adult foot problems manifest themselves in early childhood when the foot is still developing. Early detection can reduce the likelihood of it not becoming a bigger problem later in life.
Bunions and Hammer Toes are two common foot problems seen in adults. Both these problems may be avoidable with early detection and treatment. I mention Bunions and Hammer Toes because they are foot problems visually noticeable to others, which is why they can often be an embarrassing and significant concern.
Other conditions such as osteoarthritis in the smaller joints of the feet, numbness in the toes and heel spurs are also common adult foot problems. Still, only the person with the issues will feel the ongoing pain and discomfort.
Foot function not only affects foot development, but it also has a direct effect on how the ankles, knees and hips will develop.
Bodyweight places enormous stress on these larger load-bearing joints, so if the joints are not aligned correctly with the foot, long-term arthritic ailments can occur.
The type of footwear worn is also an essential factor, not only in children but also in adulthood. To my knowledge, there is no shoe currently designed that will control an abnormally functioning foot. Good footwear can assist, but it will not eliminate the underlying cause.
You may or may not know, but all children should be evaluated by a Podiatrist to make sure their feet are functioning correctly. Seeing a podiatrist is no less important than taking your child to a dentist or optometrist.
Suppose your Podiatrist finds that there is an underlying problem with your child’s feet. They will offer various treatment options, and yes, sometimes, treatment involves making customised arch supports (orthotics) to control how the foot functions.
Some parents are concerned about having orthotics made for children because a child’s foot grows quite fast. Let me assure you that orthotics will usually outlast two to three shoe sizes. So, your child will get quite a lot of use from them.
No parent wants their child to be in pain, now or in the future. So, when you’re next scheduling their dental or optometry check-up, consider making an appointment with a podiatrist as well.
Your children will thank you when they are adults.
To make an appointment at Heal Focus Podiatry, please phone 0401 828 001 and one of our friendly team will be able to assist you.