From birth until 6 – 8 years of age there are numerous changes in a child’s skeletal alignment and joint mobility. These changes occur due to bone modelling and growth. If normal development is slowed or arrested, there may be future foot and lower-limb development problems.
The practioners at Barefoot podiatry have great knowledge in the area of paediatric ‘developmental biomechanics’. This gives us a great advantage in diagnosis and treating children’s foot and lower-limb injuries related to growth.
Throughout your child’s growing years, it is normal to see alignment changes in the foot and lower-limb as the nerve and muscle systems develop.
The role of your Podiatrist is to assess whether your child’s development is following the normal and expected patterns for that particular age. If development is abnormal, your Podiatrist will give you the correct professional advice to assist in order to assist smooth development, and reduce the risk of possible future foot or lower-limb issues.
Intoeing Gait (Pigeon toed gait)
Intoed (pigeon) toed standing, walking and running is a common reason for children visiting the Podiatrist. At barefoot podiatry, we will examine your child and work out why your child is ‘intoeing’, whether it is coming from the hip, knee, legs, feet or for any other factor.
There are many methods used to reduce your child’s intoeing gait pattern, at Barefoot Podiatry we often utilise the following techniques: adjusting your child’s sitting or standing patterns/ advise the appropriate footwear / strengthening and stretching exercises / create foot gait plates/orthosis to reduce abnormal force that leads to this type of gait pattern.
Children & Sport
Around 70 percent of all children’s sports injuries occur in the lower-limb. Children don’t get the same type of common injuries as adults, as the child’s ligaments and tendons are quite strong in relation to their developing and pliable bone structures. This means that it is common for a child to be exposed more to a bone injury in sports as opposed to a soft tissue injury.
There is another group of injuries that can often affects the young, growing and active population, and these conditions effect the ‘growth plates’. These conditions are known as ‘the osteochondroses’. These conditions affect the regions in which the tendons insert into the bone (in relation to open growth plates), and can affect active children going through their growth cycle.
Some of the more common osteochondroses seen in the podiatry clinic are:
- Osgood Schlatters (knee)
- Sever’s Syndrome (heel)
- Koehler’s Syndrome (arch of the foot)
- Freiberg’s Disease (ball of the foot)
Here at Barefoot Podiatry, we understand the importance of your children participating and enjoying their sport. We understand that children are different to adults, and their needs are different, and we keep them on the sporting fields by giving them the correct advice and service to prevent and/or treat foot and lower-limb injuries related to their development.