The purpose for talking about childhood obesity is to bring awareness to this growing epidemic. In the U.S. alone, it is reported that one in five children are considered obese and that half of those children will most likely be obese as adults as well. This is a staggering statistic! The impact of obesity on general health is increasing and specific symptoms like foot pain are being seen more often.
Unfortunately for children who are obese, there can be a revolving cycle that is hard to break. With extra weight, physical activity is essential but foot pain often prevents it, making it harder to keep the weight down. Early intervention and treatment can help stop the cycle, so acknowledging foot pain and its symptoms is key.
Drs. Joel Brook and David Northcutt, foot and ankle specialists at Dallas Podiatry Works, see and treat the consequences of childhood obesity. Complications include:
Childhood obesity has also been linked to lower bone mass and strength, which increases the risk of fractures. The heel bone isn’t fully developed until age fourteen. As your child grows, stress and muscle strain from extra weight can cause inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. Called Sever’s disease, walking can become painful and also cause a child to be susceptible to stress fractures in the heel bone. Foot pain can also arise if an overweight child has inherited any conditions such as hammertoes and bunions. With all of these foot problems, children may also have a hard time finding comfortable footwear.
At our Dallas and Plano, TX offices, there are several treatment options for foot pain due to childhood obesity. Stretching exercises, physical therapy and custom orthotics are just a few ways we can help. If you need to schedule an appointment for your child, call us (972) 566-7474 in Dallas or (972) 943-3323 in Plano.