What types of foot and leg injuries do kids’ regularly suffer with?
Some of the most commonly seen injuries in kids are:
- Heel pain (Sever’s disease)
- Shin pain
- Knee pain
- Calf pain
- Arch pain
- Ball of foot pain
- Growing pains
These injuries, especially heel pain, can stop a child playing their favourite sport in their tracks. As a podiatrist I’ve seen kids grab onto walls to support their walking or be carried into appointments by parents because they can’t walk at all. As well as being debilitating, foot and leg conditions can be frustrating for kids who love to be active, or love their sport. Injuries often happen at the worst times, and hit hardest for those who miss out on hard-fought finals.
Pain is the body's warning mechanism to alert us that something is wrong or needs attention. The source of pain can range from training issues, technique errors, and unsuitable footwear, to common problems with biomechanics and foot posture, which can underpin many foot and leg injuries. A classic example is a painful knee that tracks inwards due to the feet rolling in.
Not all injuries present in the same way. Low level niggling pain often recurs with activity or during particular sports or movements. Dull aching pain can be accumulative and persistent (chronic), intensifying as time goes on. Sharp pain can be very disruptive, putting an end to participation in sports and sometimes even basic daily activity. Pain affects kids across a wide age range, with their ability to cope determined by their age/maturity, type of pain, chronicity (how long they've had it), ambitions, and support network. Being informed and proactive as parents give our kids the best chance of prevention and recovery before pain progresses.
If active kids in your life could benefit from knowing more about foot health and how to prevent and manage foot and leg injuries, please share this information. Together we can get this information to where it's needed most and make a difference.
Stay tuned for part 3 of Foot & Leg Injuries in Kids - What causes foot and leg injuries.