While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.
We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.
Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:
- Your child’s age
- The shoe’s material
- Your child’s shoe size
- The shoe’s structure
A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.
As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!
Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.
Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.
When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.
How long have you been suffering from heel pain? Pain that doesn't go away in a week or two should never be ignored. If you don't seek treatment for your symptoms, you may be at increased risk of developing chronic pain. Heel pain is just one of the foot and ankle conditions Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists Podiatrists in Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ, treat.
What causes heel pain?
Pain in your heel may be caused if you step on a rock or another hard object or may be a sign of a more serious foot condition. Common causes of heel pain include:
- Stone Bruises: Stone bruises aren't just caused by stepping on a hard object but may also occur if you wear shoes that don't adequately cushion your feet when you run or walk. Pain usually goes away on its own, as long as you avoid prolonged periods on your feet.
- Plantar Calluses: Calluses are thickened areas of skin that form on parts of your body exposed to constant friction. You may develop a plantar callus on your heel if your shoes or socks don't fit well and rub against your foot. If you've just noticed a callus, you may be able to use a pumice stone to gradually smooth it. Larger or thicker calluses require treatment from a Turnersville or Pennsauken foot doctor. If you have diabetes, don't try to treat any callus, large or small, at home.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It occurs when the band of connective tissue called the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. The fascia connects your heel to your toes and acts as natural shock absorber. If you have plantar fasciitis, you may notice sharp, stabbing pain first thing in the morning or when you stand after sitting. Pain is also common after you exercise. You may be more likely to develop the condition if you're obese, have flat feet, spend long hours on your feet or participate in sports that involve jumping.
What treatments are available for heel pain?
Your foot doctor can offer treatments that will ease your heel pain and make walking more comfortable. Although treatments depend on your diagnosis, they may include cushioning shoe inserts, corticosteroid injections, walking boots or casts, night splints, shockwave therapy, or surgery.
A visit to your foot doctor is the key to relieving your pain. Schedule an appointment with the podiatrists at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists by calling (856) 875-8855 for the Turnersville, NJ, office or (856) 488-5290 for the Pennsauken, NJ, office.
What is a Bunion?
What Causes Bunions?
How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
It's something your mother and your best friend have. Now, you see it developing on your left foot. That sore, red bump at the base of your big toe is a bunion. Medically termed Hallux valgus, this common foot deformity happens gradually, turning the big toe inward toward the second or even third toe. What can you do? The first step is a consultation with your Turnersville and Pennsauken, NJ, podiatrist at Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists.
Many, many bunions
The American College of Rheumatology reports that approximately 36 percent of the adult population in the United States has some sort of bunion. Most of those people are in the senior age group, and more women than men have this foot deformity. However, anyone can develop a bunion--even children.
A variety of symptoms results from bunion formation, including:
- Pain when walking
- Callus and corn formation
- Redness, soreness, swelling
- Friction against footwear
- Other deformities such as hammertoes
Causes of bunions
Heredity plays a role, but perhaps the most significant factor is footwear. High heels which place pressure on the forefoot change musculoskeletal alignment. People who overpronate their feet as they walk or have flat arches often develop bunions. Obesity contributes to bunion formation as well.
Your Turnersville and Pennsauken podiatrist will examine your feet and take digital X-rays to confirm the diagnosis. Also, he'll listen to your symptoms and then devise a care plan to relieve the pain and pressure associated with your bunion. Usually conservative interventions are best; however, the foot doctor may advise a bunionectomy to remove the bony bump and realign the metatarsophalangeal joint as needed.
Conservative measures may include:
- Shoe padding
- Changing to shoes with more room in the toes and with lower heels
- Night splints (which work best for adolescents who are still growing)
- Shoe orthotics (customized inserts) for improved support
- Stretching exercises
- Cortisone injections to relieve inflammation
With consistent implementation of your bunion care plan, you can expect your symptoms to subside. However, if you're suffering with a bunion right now, don't wait. Contact Regional Foot and Ankle Specialists for a consultation with one of our experienced podiatrists. You'll feel better in no time! For the Turnersville office, phone (856) 875-8855, and for the Pennsauken location, call (856) 488-5295.
An ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries to the ankle, resulting from a fall or a sudden twist that forces the ligaments out of their normal position. It’s no wonder so many athletes suffer from ankle sprains every year.
The severity of an ankle sprain depends on whether the ligament is stretched, partially torn or completely torn. Look for the following symptoms if you think you have sprained your ankle:
- Immediate pain at the site of the tear
- Immediate swelling
- Hearing or feeling something tear, pop or snap during the twist
- Pain and difficulty moving the ankle
- Inability to walk or bear weight on the ankle
Treating Your Ankle Sprain
Early treatment of a sprained ankle can improve the recovery time and minimize symptoms. The following steps will reduce swelling and help alleviate pain until you can get into our office.
- Rest: Stay off your ankle as much as possible. This will ease the pain, as well as reduce the swelling.
- Ice: It’s critical to ice your injured ankle throughout the day for the first 24 hours or until the swelling goes down.
- Compression: Elastic wraps, such as an ACE bandage, will help reduce swelling.
- Elevation: Rest your ankle above the level of your heart to keep swelling to a minimum.
Preventing Injuries to the Ankle
With extra care, you can help avoid ankle injuries.
- Wear appropriate shoes for each activity
- Throw out old, worn out shoes
- Be cautious of wet, slippery floors at work or at home
- Wear ankle braces or have your ankle taped during sports activities for increased stability
If you’ve injured your ankle and are experiencing pain or difficulty walking, come into our office for an examination and proper diagnosis. If an ankle sprain is not treated promptly with the necessary attention and care, chronic problems of pain and instability may result. Our podiatrists can recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the sprain to ensure proper healing and a fast recovery.
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