Healthy feet are extremely important to us and you as a parent. Healthy, strong feet allow your child to walk, run and play! If your child’s foot development is normal, it will prevent lower limb, and back pain in the future. Exams can help to show if your child’s bones are developing and growing correctly. An exam performed by a Chiropodist/Podiatrist may also assure that your child is walking right. If a problem does arise, this is the time that it is easiest to fix.
Your childs foot doesn't completely form til the age of 7 or 8 as there are many open Growth Plates in the childs developing lower limb(area where bone growth begins). If a Growth Plate is damaged, the bone may grow with a deformity. With proper care this can be reduced.
When to see a Foot Specialist:
If the injury is mild your child will probably not remember it for long. If, your child keeps complaining have the injury checked by a Chiropodist/Podiatrist. Call your foot specialist if you notice that the injury causes serious swelling, localized tenderness, limping, or ongoing night pains.
YOUR BABY'S Feet:
- Both size and shape rapidly change during the first year
- In fact, babys feet are FAT, FLAT and FLOPPY until the age of 3! – this is not a concern
- Many bones in the foot have yet to develop – too much added strain may affect your babys foot shape
- Allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet
- If you can, allow your baby to go barefoot in home (make sure there are no hazards)
- Make sure shoes and socks are not overly tight, as they may be squeezing the toes
Possible Foot Care:
- If you are concerned about your babys feet talk with a Chiropodist or Podiatrist – they will help determine if there is a problem
- It is common for your babys feet to turn in – this may worry you, HOWEVER, it is rarely a problem
- The shape of your childs foot will change as it grows
- Your Chiropodist or Podiatrist may suggest gentle stretching exercises to aid in proper development
YOUR TODDLERS Feet
- Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready – try not to force this issue. If there is significant delay you may talk to your Chiropodist/Podiatrist or GP
- Instead, monitor your childs Gait (how they walk) when they do start to walk
1) Do they walk on their toes?
2) Do they tend to sit while other kids play?
3) Feet FLAT, FAT and FLOPPY – not a concern this is normal up to the age of 3
- Many people are concerned that their childs feet tend to turn in. This may be referred to as IN-TOEING.Again, this is often not a concern – as most tend to out grow this problem. Don’t hesitate to contact someone should you have a concern
- PREVENT your child from sitting in a “W” pattern. (See picture above) Notice how the childs legs form the shape of a "W'.
WHEN FOOT CARE IS NEEDED:
- During the gait and biomechanical exam, we will identify any problems.
- We may prescribe orthotics to help with severe flat feet or even intoeing
- We may ask you to prevent your child from sitting in a “W” position
- If your childs foot or leg turns in a lot; shoes, splints or night braces may be prescribed.
- If you have any concerns don’t hesitate to come to the WATERLOO FOOT CLINIC.
What is a Regulated Foot Specialist Called in Ontario?
A regulated foot specialist in Ontario can be one of two names. The member may be a Chiropodist or Podiatrist. Since July, 1993 no new podiatrists have been registered to practice in Ontario in order to promote the development of the chiropody profession.
The College of Chiropodists of Ontario made a request to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in January 2006 to ask the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) to examine whether a reversion to the podiatry model would better respond to the demand for foot care services in Ontario than the current chiropody model.
HPRAC's review got underway in January, 2014 and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2015.
Do I need a medical referral?
NO you do not need a medical referral. If you or someone you know needs help with their foot concerns or pain – they are more then welcome to attend the Waterloo Foot Clinic. Often we are able to offer same day appointments.
Can a Chiropodist/ Podiatrist Prescribe Medication?
YES, Chiropodists and Podiatrists are allowed to prescribe a wide range of medications to help you with your foot concerns. The medications include: oral antibiotics, oral anti-inflammatorys, topical anti-fungals, topical corticosteroids, topical antibiotics, topical anti-inflammatory and many more. Chiropodists and Podiatrists are also allowed provide injections. Some of the more common injections are corticosteroid injections and local anesthetic injections.
Are Chiropody Services covered by OHIP?
Most extended health insurance benefits cover Chiropody services. However, OHIP currently does not cover Chiropody treatments. We recommend that you contact your coverage provider prior to your appointment. If you are unable to, not a problem - one of our staff members can help identify your coverage. Our fee schedule is based on guidelines set by our professional association. We take the following forms of payment: cash, debit, cheque, VISA, and MasterCard – Depending on your insurance provider, we may be able to do direct billing.
Will my appointment be painful?
We will try our best to use our expertise and evidence based approach to assure your treatment is not painful. It is not uncommon for our patients to come in with pain, and leave stating they feel as though they are “Walking on a Cloud”. By using different modalities of treatment, and different methods we will help to make sure you are always comfortable.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Your first appointment will include a thorough medical history and physical exam of your legs and feet. If you are a diabetic, this will include a complete diabetic foot assessment. We ask you to bring a list of your current medications and your most common worn footwear. If you have more then one pair, please bring them in.
If you have any other questions you would like us to answer, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Most of the time your feet take a beating without you even realizing it. Often, it's not until you feel pain that you begin to consider the health of your feet.
Did you know up to four times your body weight gets placed on the joints in your feet during every step?
With all that weight, it’s a good idea to give your feet a little extra attention. Here are a few tips to help take care of your feet and prevent foot conditions:
1. Be shoe smart.
Too many smart people often wear not-so-smart shoes. It's important to take a few things into consideration when you're buying a shoe. The first is to go shopping in the evening. Late in the day, your feet are tired and most relaxed/stretched. By doing your shopping in the evening, you'll be able to get the right fit for the whole day.
Next, be extra sure that you're buying the right size. If you shoe length or width is too small, it can cause a number of conditions like hammer toes, corns, ingrown toenails etc. With that said, overly large shoes can cause problems like calluses and blisters. As you can see, finding the right fit is very important. If you'd like more detail on selecting the right size shoe, check out our previous post.
Finally, pick a style of shoe that has the right support for you. A comfortable every day shoe that breathes well and doesn't trap your toes is a smart style choice. Most high heels do not provide support and can be extremely damaging to your foot's structure. Pick a round toe shoe so that each of your digits has enough room to be stretched out fully, with no cramping or pinching inwards.
2. Get daily foot exercise.
Each foot is made up of 26 bones and a collection of ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles. It's important to get your foot muscles the exercise they need to stay strong. Go out for a walk every day if you can. The length of the walk isn't as important as just getting out there and doing it. Keep your ligaments, tendons, and joints flexible and loose while strengthening the muscles in your feet!
3. Wash your feet thoroughly.
Make sure you give your feet an extra scrub every day. Your feet tend to be a hotspot for bacteria and fungus. No special foot washes or scrubbers are needed, just some good old-fashioned h2o and soap. If you are diabetic make sure your washing with the correct temperature water and soap that does not irritate your skin
For those of you who have dry and cracking skin, it's important to put on lotion. We recommend 2x/day. It doesn't have top be a specific brand, but try to get a colourless, non-scented lotion. REMEMBER: do not put lotion in between your toes!
5. Wear socks.
Wearing socks gives your feet an extra layer of protection. Calluses and blisters form much easier when you don't wear socks regularly. Additionally, if you are over-weight, are prone to varicose veins, or have bad circulation it is important to wear compression stockings. Compression stockings will assist with blood flow and alleviate added stress on your veins. Compression stockings are recommended for:
6. Avoid immediate skin contact in public areas.
Children, teenagers, and adults alike should all bring personal footwear when you're around a public pool, shower, change room, etc. These areas are common breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, fungus and other pathogens. By bringing and wearing your own footwear, you will decrease direct contact and prevent spreading. Likewise, if you do have any foot condition it is important that you always wear shoes in public area's to avoid passing it along to others.
Please contact us at the Waterloo Foot Clinic if you have any questions about any material mentioned in this blog post or any of our other posts.
The Waterloo Foot Clinic Team