When you bring your child into the podiatrist’s office, the specialist will examine your child’s walk and gait. They will also observe how your child stands to see if their feet turn inwards or to look at how your child’s hips are positioned. Your podiatrist may also recommend imaging tests to look at the alignment of the bones.
While a pediatrician may be the first person to look at and diagnose your child’s pigeon toes, a pediatric podiatrist is going to be able to provide your little one with the specialized treatment and care they need.
Most parents are relieved to find out that many children grow out of mild to moderate forms of pigeon toes. While this may take a few years, this is nothing to worry about and children won’t require special treatment or care.
However, if this issue is detected in your infant, they may need to wear a cast on the feet to fix the alignment before your child begins walking. A podiatrist can also show you a series of stretches and massages that can help the bones grow into the proper alignment.
If your child’s pigeon toes are still causing them issues by 10 years old, then you may want to talk with your podiatrist about whether surgery may be necessary to correct these bone alignment issues.
What causes flat feet?
Sometimes flat feet are simply inherited (thanks mom and dad!). Other times they develop as a result of a weakening of the posterior tibial tendon due to age-related wear and tear, physical activity, and overpronation. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop flat feet.
Should I be concerned about my child’s flat feet?
The arches of the feet develop during childhood, so it’s not normal for your baby or toddler to have arches. Their flat feet are perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. Arches typically won’t form until your child is two or three years old, and some children won’t develop arches until the age of five.
What are some ways to treat flat feet?
If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms then there is no reason to seek treatment for your flat feet; however, if you are dealing with foot pain, particularly around the heel or arches of the foot, then you should talk with your podiatrist about ways to ease your pain and prevent further flare-ups. Some conservative ways to treat flat feet include,
- Wearing properly fitted shoes that provide ample cushioning and support for the entire foot, particularly the arches and heel
- Consider getting prescription orthotics from your podiatrist, which can evenly distribute the weight throughout the foot rather than putting added pressure on the arches or heel
- Losing weight, if the patient is overweight or obese
- Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, which can reduce pain and swelling
- Talking to your podiatrist about special exercises that you can do to improve the strength and function of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the foot to reduce pain
- Weighing the pros and cons of surgical intervention
- Seek immediate medical attention (head to your local ER)
- You may need a tetanus shot if it’s been more than 10 years since your last shot
- Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist within 24 hours of the injury
- Your podiatrist will provide you with a variety of care instructions to keep it clean and disinfected (make sure to follow all of these instructions)
- New or worsening pain
- Skin that’s warm to the touch
Caring for your feet is essential if you have diabetes. Wounds often take longer to heal when you are diabetic, which increases the risk of developing an infection. Minor injuries on the feet, such as small cuts or scrapes, are easily overlooked so it is important to check your feet daily and treat any wounds right away. Dr. Kyle Sundblad and Dr. Sadegh Arab, the skilled podiatrists at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Care in Sterling Heights, MI, can help with wound care and developing a diabetic foot care routine.
Types of Diabetic Foot Problems
There is an increased risk of developing certain types of foot problems when you have diabetes. Poor blood circulation, one of the symptoms of diabetes, causes wounds to heal more slowly than they should. A longer healing time increases the risk of infection. Infections that are not caught and treated right away can lead to more serious problems, including:
- Neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Foot ulcers
- Foot calluses
- Foot swelling
- Charcot’s foot
Scheduling regular checkups with a podiatrist is one way to care for your feet. A podiatrist can help you maintain healthy feet, improve circulation, and avoid infection, all of which can prevent more serious conditions from developing. The experienced podiatrists at our office in Sterling Heights provide wound care for diabetic feet and can help you develop an effective at-home foot care routine.
Ways to Care for Diabetic Feet
One of the best ways to care for diabetic feet is to check for injuries every day. Checking the feet daily ensures any wounds that develop are spotted right away so you can treat them promptly and reduce your risk for infection. When checking the feet look for redness, blisters, bruises, punctures, cuts, scratches, scrapes, and ingrown toenails. Immediately apply first aid measures to any wounds, which could include thoroughly cleaning and drying the area, and then applying a bandage.
There are several other steps you can take to care of diabetic feet in addition to performing daily wound checks. Some ways to maintain healthy feet include:
- Moisturizing the feet daily
- Wearing comfortable shoes
- Wearing loose socks to bed
- Refraining from soaking the feet in the water
- Keeping the feet clean, warm, and dry
- Wearing warm socks and shoes during cold weather
- Trimming toenails straight across to avoid ingrown nails
- Stretching or moving around throughout the day to promote better circulation
An effective diabetic foot care routine should include checking the feet daily and promptly treating any wounds. Regular checkups with a podiatrist can also contribute to healthier feet. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sundblad or Dr. Arab, call Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Care in Sterling Heights, MI, at (586) 731-7873.
- Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
- Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
- Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
- Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
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