What is that acronym, you might wonder. Does it have something to do with peanut butter and jelly? Well, actually, it stands for World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day! Continuing the theme of Bone and Joint Action week, tomorrow, October 19th is designated to raise awareness about how musculoskeletal diseases affect children. The reason is that 10% of those who have a disabling bone and joint problem are children. Additionally, some of the adults that are affected by musculoskeletal disease have been affected since childhood.

The focus of this year is on how obesity affects children’s bone and joint disorders. The best way to reduce the risk of long-term musculoskeletal problems is to take preventative measures when children are young. However, when children are obese, they are at higher risk of developing bone and joint problems, even while they are young. Much of the lasting problems can start as acute or overuse injuries to the growth plates in the back, hips, and legs (knock knees).

So how can you help your child? You can help them take some preventative measures and make sure that they get treatment for current problems. Here are some tips:

  • If your child is overweight or obese, speak to the pediatrician on how to lose weight. Obesity can put a lot of excess weight and pressure on the lower half of the body, causing problems with the back, hips, legs, and feet. Your child should be put on a plan to help him or her get to a healthier weight.
  • Exercise and eating right are essential to maintaining a healthy body. Bones and muscles can be stronger with resistance or weight-bearing exercises. Be sure to perform activities in a safe and protected manner to prevent injuries. Foods with calcium, vitamin D, anti-inflammatory properties, and omega-3 fatty acids are important for bone and joint health.
  • Address foot and ankle problems to prevent problems elsewhere. This is also true for back or hip problems. If your child limps or complains of pain, it’s important to get treatment so that the problem doesn’t become more severe or have lasting effects. We can help you with orthotics if they are necessary.

Have concerns about pb&j health? Consult with our podiatrist at Texas Foot Works, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz. He will assess your feet and ankles for any musculoskeletal conditions that may affect them. Make an appointment today at any of our offices in Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX!