By Barry Mullen
November 14, 2012
Category: Injury Prevention



With Halloween rapidly approaching, has your child ever whined or complained during, or after their “trick or treat” walk through your neighborhood? Do they ever refuse to walk, or frequently ask to be held and carried? Do they pause when asked if they’d like to participate in sports, dance, or exercise? Sometimes, especially in a youngster, the symptoms associated with flat feet (fallen arches) can be very subtle. Other times, foot or lower leg discomfort may be experienced by a youngster during, or immediately after activity. It is important for parents to realize that these subtle symptoms may represent a treatable foot or lower leg problem. The best window of opportunity to evaluate and treat foot problems, like any other condition that affects the body, is sooner, rather than later. It is equally important for parents to appreciate that children will generally not “outgrow” many of the problems associated with flat feet, as they may have heard. Rather, these complaints tend to progress throughout adulthood.


Flat feet in children create many muscle and tendon imbalances in the feet and lower leg that often lead to fatigue, cramps, and as they get older more painful problems. This is similar to a building whose foundation settles over time and problems like cracks in the walls or around the window sills develop. Some of these foot problems are genetic. Parents would be well advised to check their own, and their parent’s foot and lower legs for problems or histories of problems. Helping support the arch by wearing a foot orthotic can successfully help relieve symptoms. This is most helpful during the time the bones, joints and muscles of the foot and lower leg are being formed and aligned.


When subtle symptoms of muscle fatigue first present in a youngster, especially for those parents who have a foot or lower leg problem themselves, it would be advised to visit a podiatrist experienced in treating pediatric foot and lower leg problems. The earlier a child is properly evaluated and treated, the better the chance one can successfully manage or in some cases correct the problem. The end result often allows a child or young adolescent to thrive during activities that require prolonged standing, walking, and/or running. At FootCare Associates, our board certified podiatric physicians are available to evaluate your child’s complaints. If your child complains about their feet or lower legs, please contact us (908) 852-0229. Or visit us on the web at We will be happy to schedule an appointment for your child.


By Barry Mullen