Why Do Children Need A Podiatrist?
Children would benefit from annual podiatry check-ups to ensure their walking patterns support their growth.
As children grow their joints and bones develop and change. Therefore it is beneficial to have them assessed to ensure their growth and development match their age.
If any abnormalities are detected, our podiatrists can manage these early for the best outcome.
What Is The Difference Between Treating Children & Adults?
Children's feet are not just little adult's feet. Baby's feet have soft cartilage, which develops into bone as they grow and mature.
As children grow, their hip, knee, ankle, and foot position change all the time. Children have growth plates (cartilage), which allows their bones to grow; it is this extra cartilage which increases joint mobility.
Also, when your child's bones grow, their muscles need to stretch to catch up. It is this tightening of muscle tissue, commonly referred to as "growing pains."
Children have specific developmental milestones and conditions that they are faced with at various ages and stages of growth. A child's needs vary significantly from that of an adult.
Our pediatric podiatrists have a thorough knowledge of these conditions and the best course of action to alleviate your child's pain or correct their problem.
It is essential to seek advice early because the good news is, as your child is growing, they will usually respond to treatment quickly.
What is "Paediatric Podiatrist"?
A paediatric podiatrist is a qualified professional with a special interest in the growth and development of children's feet.
All of the podiatrists at Erica Dash Podiatry Clinic have a particular interest in children and biomechanics - as it is a prerequisite of gaining employment with the company.
Erica Dash Podiatry pride themselves in investing in the latest technologies and being able to offer the broadest range of treatment options on the Central Coast.
Our podiatrists may offer one or a combination of the following treatment options for foot problems:
Orthotic Therapy for Kids
As children are growing and developing, orthotics can make a dramatic change to how they walk, run, and also support their growing feet. Early intervention of an orthotic can often prevent weak muscle, joint, and gait habits from being carried into adulthood.
Orthotics can also help with growing pains by improving joint function and eliminating the common cause of heel pain in children. Erica Dash Podiatry has a specific orthotic with a unique heel cushion to assist with Severs disease.
Our podiatrists can also make a massive difference to a child with pigeon toes by using foot pressures to help them self-correct.
At Erica Dash Podiatry, we do not use orthotic labs who have not seen or assessed your child. It is your consulting children’s podiatrist who manufactures your child's orthotic.
This process reduces errors in arch contour and fit and improves the overall function of the device. Benefits include no two to three-week wait for your orthotic, as all orthotics are manufactured on-site.
You can collect your orthotics on the same day or within 24 hours, often making Erica Dash Podiatry's orthotics the Orthotic of Choice for your child.
Dry Needling is an excellent choice of therapy for children as it relaxes muscle tissue and lengthens the muscle in a short space of time. It is an effective treatment in children as their muscles usually respond quickly.
This therapy is great for patients of any age and can work well with stretching.
Dry Needling is an effective treatment for children suffering from chronic conditions such as Severs disease, Achilles tendinitis, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, knock knees, and in the toe. It can help relieve pain associated with Osgood Schlatter's disease.
Shockwave therapy uses acoustic waves and mechanical pulses to release trigger points in muscles. It is particularly useful in treating children with muscle spasticity such as cerebral palsy.
Joint Mobilisation through Muscle Energy
Muscle Energy Technique uses the muscle's own energy to relax and lengthen the muscle and improve joint range of motion. It's an excellent treatment in children with tight muscles and limited joint range of motion.
Massage is an excellent therapy for children recovering from injury as it reduces muscle tension and increases joint range of motion.
Ingrown Toenail Surgery
Every attempt is made to avoid surgery, particularly in children at Erica Dash Podiatry. Always conservative means are tried first. However, for chronic ingrown toenails or severely incurvated nails, we do offer nail surgery under a local anesthetic.
Children with ingrown nails often recover quickly from surgery and are back to playing sport usually within two weeks.
Cryotherapy for Plantar Warts
Cryotherapy is a simple way of treating painful plantar warts in children. Our "Cryospray" quickly reduces the temperature of the wart virus to a level the cells can't survive.
It is an excellent solution to plantar warts in children as it is relatively quick and painless.
What Shoe Is Right For My Toddler?
As baby's' feet are soft and flexible, so must be their first walking shoes.
Always look for a natural fibre shoe with a soft, pliable leather sole - this allows your little one to bend and move their feet freely when they are learning to walk. Avoid tight, constrictive hard-soled shoes.
After your child has been walking for six weeks, it is then time to have them fitted for their "first shoes."
Choose a shoe that fastens to their foot with enough room at the front for growth (about a thumb width) and deep enough in the toe box that your child can wriggle their toes.
The sole still should be semi-flexible.
Shoes For Pre Schoolers?
Once your child is 3-4 years old, they will require a more sturdy shoe. Flexible at the toe, firmer in the mid-sole, and with a firm heel counter. The velcro fastening is suitable as it enables independence.
Shoes For School?
Choosing your first school shoe can be difficult with pressures from your kids to look right. Always select leather, as they will be spending a lot of time in this shoe.
A small heel is the best as the calf muscles won't be strained, particularly during growth spurts.
A sturdy heel counter, firm midsole, and flexible toe area lace-up fastening is best; however, if your child struggles with laces, velcro is the next best thing.
Ensure there is a thumb width at the front for growth. A durable, non-slip sole is also essential.
When To Take Your Child To A Podiatrist
Children experience many normal growing issues, here are some of the average ages at which they occur:
2 years to adult
Out toeing (Duck feet)
4 years to adult
any age at which you notice your child has changed in height their pains
will be worse.
Excessively Pronated Feet
in active children any time from 8 years on average, also occurs in sedentary children from around the age of 12 years.
Osgood Schlatters Disease
Usually upwards of 7 years
Our Podiatry Services
Erica and her experienced team offer the complete feet treatment. Erica’s team gives patients professional, up to date knowledge using the latest technology in her state of the art consulting rooms.
Erica Dash Podiatry is family friendly treating a wide range of foot and leg complaints of patients of any age or stage of life - See All Podiatrists