It feels like you’re watching your kids grow and change before your eyes every day. With many changes being a regular part of growth and development, it can be difficult to know what is normal with kids feet and legs as they grow and what isn’t. Here’s what you should be looking out for:
Pain is always a concern and is not a normal part of childhood development. It’s so easy to attribute kids pain in the legs as ‘growing pains’ without thinking about what that means. Pain is always the biggest sign that something within the body isn’t quite working or reacting the way that it’s meant to and it’s something that can be addressed and alleviated.
A classic example we see often is a condition called Sever’s Disease. Despite the name ‘disease’, it’s a temporary condition that causes (often severe) pain at the back of the heel, particularly during sport, and can render your little one unable to finish their sports game and needing to sit it out. This occurs because the calf muscles and achilles tendon are being strained and pulling on their insertion into the back of the heel. One cause of the strain is often that the rate of growth of the heel bone exceeds the rate of growth of these attaching muscles. This constant pulling at the back of the heel, combined with physical activity that exacerbates these structures, can cause great pain and frustration. While historically we may have been advised to “wait it out”, the truth is that you don’t have to wait and see your kids missing games and being in pain and there are absolutely things that can be done to alleviate and eliminate their pain at a much faster rate.
Regular trips or falls beyond the ‘learning to walk’ phase can definitely be a red flag. Often it can be associated with the position of the feet and legs at the time, such as in-toeing or knock-knees, although there are a variety of attributes. By assessing the feet and legs and what is happening and causing the trips and falls, we are able to begin to treat the underlying cause to correct the issue. We’re parents too and so know very well that trips and falls are upsetting, frustrating, as well as painful and come with the risk of other injuries from the impact.
Like tripping and falling, incoordination and awkward movements can mean that something may not be quite right within the structures of the feet and legs which is hindering their ability to move smoothly and efficiently. Again, there can be a variety of attributes, such as muscular weakness, tight musculature or a limited range of motion at the joints, to name a few. By addressing these issues, we are able to resolve the issue and optimise the way your child runs, skips, plays and does the things they love.
If you’re noticing that your child is falling significantly behind the rest of the team or class, there may well be a reason for that. It may be as simple as poor foot posture, which means that muscles are being greatly overused during activity meaning they tire much faster than they should and they can’t keep going for as long as their friends. At times this also may come with an ache or pain that kids don’t voice in the fear that they may not be allowed to run around with their friends. Regardless of the cause, there are absolutely things that can be done to assess and treat the underlying issue. We understand the importance of kids needing to run around with their friends without feeling down about not being as fast or as strong.
If you’re seeing something that you think may be abnormal in your kids feet, go with your gut and get it checked.
Two weeks with Calcaneal Spur and finally got to see Doc. He sent me to Kevin @ Eleven and with One Appointment, he had me walking without Crutches. Yes! It still hurt. Did the Stretching, Rolling my Foot on a Spikey ball and Iced it occasionally. Return visit, after he had his Holiday, and I' am walking fine. They do NOT want to see me again, unless it deteriorates. Which it has not :-)