As a rule, many children do not voluntarily speak up when they’re experiencing some sort of pain and discomfort in the lower extremities. Parents need to actively take note of any clues which suggest behaviour atypical for children, including avoidance of walking or running and being hesitant to playtime in general.
It is strongly recommended that all children receive regular check-ups to ensure that there are no developmental issues related to the feet. For example, flat feet treatment early in childhood can help to avoid a myriad of bigger issues later on in life, and insoles for special needs children can really help with their everyday road to progress and recovery.
Childhood is the time when the skeleton grows, ossifies, and “sets in place”. It is also the time when the human body commits posture and gait to individual muscle memory; bad habits in motor skills formed during childhood are hard to break. In addition to deforming the developing skeleton, subtle musculoskeletal deficiencies can create biomechanical bad habits for the most important and commonplace motor activity – walking.
Fortunately, children’s feet are malleable and can be relatively easily guided into the right shape – provided that the diagnosis and applied treatment are correct. Children’s orthotic insoles and other types of treatment from a professional Singapore foot doctor can have a significant and lasting effect for toddlers and kids.
Some common signs of lower extremity problems in children:
It is common for children around the ages of 2-3 to have the appearance of flat feet; low arches can slowly self-correct as children get older. The category of “flat feet” exists on a spectrum, and not all flat feet are considered problematic. However, if there are any signs of lower extremity problems, or if severe flat feet run in the family, then it is best to go to a podiatrist to get a comprehensive assessment.
Most children would be assessed for any abnormalities during pregnancy and shortly after birth. However, there are still structural or development problems that can only be picked up once the child begins to walk. Such problems include in-toeing, out-toeing, or toe walking (the child walks on tip-toes most of the time).
Another problem commonly faced by children is growing pains. This usually occur when the child has a growth spurt, and grows too quickly over a short time.
This may cause a misalignment in the biomechanics of the child resulting in pain in the lower limbs. Some of the common conditions we see are Sever’s Disease (pain in the back of the heel) and Osgood-Schlatter Disease (pain in the knee).
Conventional wisdom would say that growing pains goes away by itself, but this is not medically accurate. Pain is never a normal condition, and requires proper medical evaluation and diagnosis. It is often pointing to an underlying fault which must be addressed.
If you have noticed some subtle (or not-so-subtle) changes in the way your child is behaving and moving around, it is best to have your child assessed and treated. Early intervention is key to preventing any complications that might arise later in life.