Child (Paediatric) and Adult Foot Problems

Many children suffer with dropped foot arches, and flat feet, for which there are many causes. A detailed assessment can highlight these problems, and then we can correct the issues with advice, exercise and sometimes orthoses. We are fortunate to work alongside podiatrists who are specialised in foot biomechanics, so we have their expert knowledge to hand.

 

Adult foot pain can present almost anywhere in the foot, but the most common disorders are plantar fascitis, Achilles tendonitis, hallux valgus and metatarsalgia.

 

Plantar fascitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia with lies along the sole or plantar aspect of the foot. It is usually caused by aggravating the plantar fascia, which can either be due to a spur, or something mechanical occurring within the foot. Pain can be intense, and is felt directly under the heel. It is often worse first thing in the morning, when walking after a period of rest, or after a period of prolonged walking. Providing the cause is determined, physiotherapy can be highly effective in treating the symptoms.

 

Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is the large tendon at the back of the foot. Pain is usually felt just up from the base of the tendon and the condition is aggravated by walking running and jumping. Symptoms are often relieved by wearing a heel raise or a heeled shoe. Assessment usually highlights tightness in the calf muscle and often a mechanical change within the foot to compensate. Physiotherapy can help determine the cause and then treat the inflammatory process, and prevent its reoccurrence.

 

Hallux valgus is where the big toe starts to bend inwards towards the other toes. The joint can become red, inflamed and painful when wearing shoes, or walking. Hallux valgus can be hereditary, but some are caused from a mechanical problem occurring further back in the foot or leg. Analysing a patientsí gait pattern can reveal these problems and then we can work to correct them.

 

Metatarsalgia is pain under the metartarsal heads in the foot, or the ball of the foot. The pain is usually present on walking and is generally worse when wearing a heeled shoe, or a shoe with a poorly cushioned insole. There can be many causes for the pain; ostoearthritis, neuromas, and a dropped transverse arch are a few. Again, careful assessment can identify issues and then if appropriate we can correct them.