Your Children’s Feet, Playing Sports, and Seeing a Podiatrist

By orthoadmin
By September 6, 2023
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All parents know that children are energetic in sports.  An active child enjoys pursuing continuous activities like running, jumping, and dancing. As soon as they start to walk, they are chasing balls, playing with sticks, moving rapidly and running around in an open space.

Encouraging kids to stay active is now more important than ever. Children active in sports programs will improve their cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, coordination, and state of mind. Parents should encourage their children to participate in sports because it develops a sense of discipline, teamwork, and recognition of the importance of a healthy body. These sports benefits are actually good habits that last a lifetime.

Playing sports is a great way to exercise. Common sports include baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, and wrestling. The starting age for training in individual sports such as swimming, skating, track, and gymnastics grows younger every year. Healthy feet are the foundation to proper exercise but a child’s foot pain can stop them in their tracks.

Ankle sprains and breaks are among the most common sports injuries for both adults and children. Foot problems should be treated by today’s podiatrist –the foot and ankle specialist. If your child is experiencing a foot pain, then consult a podiatrist. Foot problems can impact the child’s ability to move. Early and quick treatment of injuries gets your kids moving and back on their feet. But what are the signs your child should see a podiatrist?

5 Signs Your Child Should See a Podiatrist

Parents can easily recognize if their children are in bad health condition. You pay close attention to your child’s health and you know the signs of a common cold, flu, and allergic reactions. You identify and treat any health issues right away but there are some health problems like chronic leg or foot problems that require more attention and treatment of a physician. Now these are the signs for you, as a parent, to consult a podiatrist for your child.

  1. Your child has difficulty in playing sports or avoids any activities that involve running, walking, or standing.

    An active child is energetic in many physical activities. If your child is deeply engaged in sports, consult a podiatrist if there are foot and ankle injuries or muscle and tendon problems. If your child is not an athlete and he or she actively avoids running, walking or standing and does not even participate in light physical play, you might need to visit a podiatrist. Tripping or stumbling on uneven ground is another common cause of foot and ankle sprains and fractures.

  2. If your child complains of foot pain or discomfort.

    Many fractures and sprains occur during sports. Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty in walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms of a sprained or fractured foot or ankle. However, foot pain and discomfort can also be a result of improper shoes, flat feet, and other podiatry-related issues. If swelling and pain persist, see a podiatrist. Immediate treatment is crucial to quick healing.

  3. Your child expresses displeasure due to exhausted or sore legs.

    Leg discomfort and fatigue can result from walking or running issues, foot misalignment, and other podiatry-related problems. If your child experiences multiple sprains or strains and cannot stand due to leg soreness, it’s important to see a podiatrist. A podiatric physician can provide treatment as well as recommend balancing and strengthening exercises to restore coordination quickly.

  4. Your child displayed disordered walking or standing behaviours.

    If you notice unnatural ways in the manner your child walks and stands, it’s better to consult a specialist. If you observe a bowed legs or knock knees, constant shifts from one foot to the other when standing in place, constant toe walking or tiptoeing, toes turned in when walking or standing, and flat feet in your child, it’s time to see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can offer a thorough examination of the entire lower extremity, and identify a leg length imbalance or weakness that may need to be addressed to prevent injuries or disorders. When certain conditions are left unaddressed, this can cause pain, diminish flexibility, and reduce mobility.

  5. Your child has a prolonged foot or lower limb injury.

    Children experience a range of injuries while growing up. Many of these injuries simply require home care treatment like rest and cold therapy. However, others could develop into a more serious problem. Sports-related injuries are more common to active children and young athletes. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), football players are particularly vulnerable to foot and ankle sprains and fractures. Basketball players are prone to ankle sprains, and runners may develop stress fractures of the ankle or foot. Gymnasts and dancers may also develop stress fractures. A pediatric podiatrist can check for any potential stress on the lower extremities, discuss strengthening exercises, and may prescribe orthopedic devices to heal the child’s current injury.

Parents should consult a podiatrist to manage foot problems efficiently so that their children can have a healthy life. Podiatrists diagnose and treat conditions of the foot, ankle, and related structures of the leg. They are the most qualified doctors to care for your child’s feet. If the pain doesn’t go away with ice and rest, or if the pain persists beyond a week, schedule an appointment with our podiatrist here at OrthoSports. Treatment will focus on relieving the pain and preventing further injury.

Seeing a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment is a vital step in the right direction. Pain-free feet are the first step in making sure children stay active and healthy.

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