Every year, children and adults go to their GPs complaining of foot pain, leg pain, hip pain, and knee pain. For children particularly, many of these aches are simply written off as ‘growing pains’, but there can be other reasons that are actually rather simple to remedy.
In fact, many of these aches and pains may be caused by what is commonly termed flat feet – a problem where the child displays overpronation when they walk or run. This is when the foot falls inward and overbalances. This can cause any or all of the following health issues:
- Abnormal gait: When the feet are overpronating, they fall naturally inwards. Then the ankle is not directly above the foot, but rather is in line with the ground just outside of the base of the foot.
- Aches and pains: As the child continues to move with this abnormal gait pattern, they are likely to experience pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and legs.
As with any health issue, it is best to see a medical expert, such as a podiatrist. In fact, your child may have a problem with flat feet and overpronation if they display any or all of the following symptoms:
- Clumsiness: If your child moves clumsily and seems to have trouble running or walking in a normal pattern, their feet may need to be assessed by a qualified podiatrist. One common symptom is falling over or tripping more than other children of the same age.
- Tiredness: Children who have flat feet often become tired and complain of aching legs, which is because they have an abnormal gait pattern that tires them more quickly.
- Pain: As mentioned earlier, any pain in the feet, ankles, knees, or legs could be a sign of flat feet and overpronation.
If these issues are not addressed, they will cause chronic pain and health issues as the child grows and develops.
Addressing the Problem
Supporting children’s feet is essential to their optimal growth and development. By seeking the expertise of a qualified podiatrist, you can have your child’s feet assessed. They will likely need a pair of custom-made orthotics fitted to their shoes. Orthotics function as a shoe insert that helps biomechanically correct overpronation and promotes the growth and development of healthy feet.
The most reliable and reputable orthotics brands are made of medical grade materials and are fully endorsed by podiatrists and other medical professionals.
A Case of Badly Made Cheap Shoes
It should be noted that many podiatrists actually decry the health problems caused every year by cheap and poorly made shoes available in a range of department stores. These shoes tend to be manufactured cheaply and do not support the arches of the feet at all. This leads to aching feet and possible gait problems as outlined earlier. Of course, these problems are not just restricted to children’s shoes. Even adults buying poorly made shoes that are unsupportive and uncomfortable will experience aches and pains.