Have concerns about your child’s feet or ankles? Here at Greenberg Podiatry, we know that maintaining healthy feet throughout a child’s formative years is essential for lifelong health. For this reason, our experienced, capable practitioners offer high-quality pediatric care on top of our regular foot care services, including assessment, treatment, and client education.
Give your child the best start in life
On your list of health care concerns to give your child a long and healthy life, caring for their feet is probably near the bottom. However, your child will spend much of their life on their feet. On average, you’d expect a healthy, active person to walk about 5000 steps a day. That’s 146,000,000 steps over an 80-year lifetime—enough to walk around the earth 2.5 times—and this doesn’t even consider the time a person spends standing still. As your child’s feet will bear their body weight for much of their life, their foot muscles and bones will endure a lifetime of wear and tear. Thus, building a foundation of good foot health (encouraging good habits, tracking health concerns, and seeking professional help when necessary) is key to giving your child a healthy, pain-free, and productive life.
When should you visit a foot care practitioner?
Many foot and ankle issues that manifest in adulthood originate from disregarded, easily treatable childhood ailments. Early diagnosis can improve the odds of treatment succeeding and prevent chronic foot pain and mobility issues from forming later. Some common pediatric foot conditions include:
- Intoeing and out-toeing walking habits
- Flat and floppy feet
- Toe deformities
- Skin rashes and eczema
- Skin infections
- “Growing Pains” (Osgood Schlater, Siding Larsen Johanson, and Kholer’s Diseases)
- Foot deformities (Club Foot, Metatarsus Adductus, and Cleft Foot)
To the untrained eye, many foot conditions and disorders may be difficult to spot and may not display any obvious signs or symptoms. For infants, many problems are impossible to see until they start walking and their gait begins to stabilize. Even then, children often grow out of some conditions (such as in-toeing or pigeon-toeing) and don’t always require medical intervention. Others (such as club foot or flat foot) are much more noticeable. Much of the time, however, determining if a foot problem is present often requires a trained eye and proper diagnostic tools. You should seek a regular foot care evaluation for your child, at the very least during their early walking stages (1–3 years of age).
Some indicators that you should take your child to a podiatrist for an evaluation include:
- Frequent trips and falls
- Family history of genetic foot conditions
- Difficulty keeping up with other children
- Unwillingness to participate in physical activities they typically enjoy
- Reluctance to show you their feet
- Any foot pain or swelling
It’s Not Just “Growing Pains”
Foot or ankle pain is never a healthy part of your child’s development—it could even indicate the beginnings of serious health problems. Any pain that lasts more than a few days or is severe enough to limit your child’s walking should be assessed by a foot care practitioner.
Foot problems and conditions often worsen over time, so the earlier you seek treatment, the easier it is to optimize your future wellness and quality of life.
What to expect during your child’s appointment
At our clinic, we’ll work collaboratively with you to keep your child healthy, happy, and active. During your appointment, your foot care practitioner will perform a comprehensive evaluation, make a diagnosis, and offer treatment options to fix and prevent any problems. Here’s a quick overview of what you should expect during your visit:
During your child’s appointment, their foot care practitioner will perform a comprehensive evaluation, diagnose any conditions, and offer treatment options. Here’s a quick overview of what you should expect during your visit:
- A review of your past medical history and the history of your present illness or conditions
- Comprehensive foot and lower limb inspection and physical assessment
- Biomechanical assessment and gait analysis: how you walk, stand and run, where your feet apply pressure, and how the energy generated from walking transfers through your body
- Assessing your daily footwear and self-care habits
- X-rays, vascular, dermatological or neurological exams and functional tests of all types depending on need
After your foot care practitioner completes their assessment, they’ll explain their findings and the treatment options they recommend for your child. Your child’s treatment plan will vary depending on their health condition if any foot problems exist, and their specific needs. However, your foot care practitioners will likely offer some of the following standard routine foot care treatments:
- Routine foot care: General cleaning and preventative maintenance; treatment of recurring conditions that could aggravate or promote injury.
- Foot bracing and orthotics: Your child’s footcare practitioner may prescribe a foot brace or custom foot orthotic to encourage bones to develop correctly, improve comfort, or fix abnormal gait patterns and faulty foot biomechanics.
- Medication or topical solutions: For infections and concerns such as athlete’s foot
- Cutting-edge therapies and techniques: Laser, near infra-red, microwave and stimulation therapies to promote deep-tissue healing, reduce pain and inflammation, improve circulation, and more.
- Rehabilitative massage: Improve circulation, stimulate healing, and reduce pain and inflammation.
- Child foot care education: Tips to help you care for your child’s foot health at home and prevent future.
- injury. This includes advice on proper footwear, hygiene, self-care practices, movement techniques, etc.
- Surgery: If your child’s condition is resistant to other treatments, your podiatrist can perform minor surgery to correct the issue and prevent it from recurring. Surgery is always a last-resort measure—except in rare circumstances, we’ll never recommend it unless all other options have failed.
For a more in-depth view of all the treatments we offer at our clinic, head to our Treatments and Devices page.
Your treatment, your way
We aim to design practical, realistic, fast-acting treatment plans that are at most only a minor inconvenience and get you back to living healthy and pain-free as soon as possible. Through patient-doctor collaboration, we’ll work together to identify a proven, effective treatment plan that matches not only the needs of your condition but the needs of your specific situation and lifestyle.
Plan Your Visit
No child should have to suffer from preventable health problems. For this reason, we want to work with you and do our utmost to help them avoid and correct any health problems at all costs. Our Ottawa-based clinic offers comprehensive foot care for all demographics and the most modern, cutting-edge foot care techniques and treatments in the capital region. Together, we’ll find the best treatment plan to provide your child with a long, healthy, and active life.
Whether you’re an Ottawa resident or just visiting, take a step in the right direction and book an appointment with Greenberg Podiatry.