CHILDRENS PROBLEMS: THE FEET

RECOMMENDATIONS

Do not underestimate the power of a kiss on the injured part.

CARE OF THE FEET

The feet may be considered phenomenal when one reflects on exactly what they do and the way we treat them. We cram them into tight socks,

INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD shove them into often ill-fitting shoes and pay scant regard to their hygiene despite their use and tendency to sweat in their cramped environment. We then stand on them, walk with them and with each step place our entire body weight on the three square inches that we call the ball of our feet. The feet contain small blood vessels that, when we are standing, have the effect of gravity pulling blood into them and then we get surprised when our feet swell! The bones and muscles, despite the weight they carry, tend to be very resilient and rarely cramp but infrequently do we spend any time relaxing these hard-working parts of our body.

The Eastern philosophies also consider the feet to be our connection with Mother Earth but rarely do we spend time with our feet directly on the ground. I find it interesting that the masters of yoga will spend time upside down and in the lotus position with the soles of the feet facing the sky, thereby creating a potential connection between our ‘soles’ and heaven.

Any diseases of the arteries through smoking, diabetes or a genetic predisposition to cold feet require special attention to the feet because the blood vessels are small and any occlusion, as found in the above conditions, can discourage healing. Diabetics in particular may have neurological deficits and therefore not be aware of damage to their feet; special attention must be paid to this area.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Spend as much time as possible in bare feet, preferably with some of that time allowing contact with the earth.

Ensure that socks and shoes are loose fitting.

Ensure cleanliness of all parts of the body but pay special attention to the feet and between the toes. This is a very comfortable area for warmth and moisture to encourage bacterial and fungal growth.

Careful cleaning and drying, especially between the toes, is essential. The use of non-medicated talcum powder is encouraged if the feet are sweaty or if any length of time is to be spent in socks and/or shoes.

If possible spend a few minutes each day with the soles of the feet exposed to direct sunlight.

Any injury should be treated with respect. The blood vessels in the feet are small and injuries may not receive a good blood supply.

ATHLETE’S FOOT

Athlete’s foot is characterized by a red, itching and peeling skin generally between and around the gaps in the toes. This is created by a fungus usually , although secondary bacterial infection can make the condition worse.

Most commonly contracted from damp changing room or swimming room floors, the condition usually responds to good foot hygiene.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Treatment is often unnecessary if the basics of foot hygiene are followed for at least three weeks.

If the above treatments do not relieve the situation then some form of energy release under the hands of a healer, acupuncturist or Shiatsu practitioner may release a block in the pelvis allowing the energy to flow more freely and relieve the pressure on the feet. length and width, be comfortable and lined with natural material to avoid sweating.

Many persistent backaches, whether neck or lower back, are created by malalignment of the pelvis, which, in turn, can be created by one leg being longer than the other. This is corrected by accurately fitted inner soles or additions to the heel and external soles of shoes.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Ensure that shoes are fitted by accurate measurement of a child’s feet and not by fashion consciousness.

Ensure, to the best of your ability, that shoes are made out of natural materials and that the inner lining allows ‘breathing’ and sweat absorption.

SWEATY FEET

Sweaty feet, like hot or burning feet, are not necessarily an indication of ill-heath and may simply be a genetic predisposition.

SHOES

The selection of shoes is extremely important, as is ensuring that socks are not too tightly fitting. Tight-fitting shoes will alter the very delicate bone structures in infants’ feet and the same can be said up until growing has stopped at the age of

RECOMMENDATION • See Hot or burning sensations in the feet.

TALIPES (CLUB FOOT)

This condition is present at birth and is character- and pointing downwards. Medically speaking, club foot can also represent an outward and upward deformity of the ankle and foot.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Assessment is best made by an orthopaedic surgeon.

Doctors, chiropodists, and some osteopaths and chiropractors will be able to show parents massage techniques that may correct this condition. The use of Arnica cream whilst using this technique is beneficial. 1 Splinting may be necessary. 1 Surgical intervention is sometimes required. If so, see Operations and surgery.

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