From a Podiatry perspective children cannot be treated like smaller versions of their parents, and neither can their feet. Foot orthotics for children present a unique opportunity to control the growth and development of the foot.
You may be familiar with orthotic therapy because you may have a diagnosis or problem related to your feet. Many common foot problems are thought to have a genetic component and your child’s feet play a crucial role in their development. This is especially true when considering the growing number of children increasing their activity levels and entering organized sports at a young age.
The possibility of improved outcomes when your child is skeletally mature, and the prevention of future problems are great reasons to consider having your child evaluated for custom foot orthotics.
Research has shown that the early use of foot orthotics in children can have beneficial results that can be seen clinically and on an X-ray. Problems with foot development and biomechanics can eventually lead to problems higher up in the ankles, knees and hips.
Some common problems that can be addressed with a foot orthotic include flatfoot, the overpronated foot (Ankles turning in), torsional deformities of the lower leg, juvenile bunions and other biomechanical inefficiencies of the foot.
In all likelihood your child will adapt wonderfully to his or her new orthotics. As we know, the ligaments and bone structures of a child have a unique ability to adapt to new or corrected positions, and their feet are no different. A custom foot orthotic is different than other off-the- shelf orthotics in that it is precisely calibrated to your child’s foot. This means that the orthotic is designed based on your child’s foot type and weight to provide just the right amount of flexibility. Tolerance issues in children are extremely rare.
When your child is undergoing rapid growth, his or her orthotics will need to be replaced approximately every two shoe sizes, or every one to two years.
Re-evaluation of your child as he or she develops will often lead to changes in the orthotic prescription .Just as your child experiences unique clinical situations, his or her orthotic is a unique and custom device. Some problems can be prevented without life-long wear, some developmental problems may require longer-term use, and some children would simply benefit from prevention their whole lives.
Consider the use of eyeglasses in children. The concern that a child will become dependent on the prescription eyewear is not a valid reason to dismiss the correction needed to improve visual function. In addition The Podiatrist may prescribe exercises for the foot to give your child every opportunity to develop a muscularly sound foot.
If your child does not complain about any foot pain but obvious problems are observed by the parent, chances are the child will not just outgrow it. To treat the child with the proper tools to lead a future normal, pain-free life is an individual decision that every parent has to make with the assistance of their health care provider.
Considerations in this decision should include the preventative payoffs for instituting such therapy weighed against any potential down-side, which is often primarily financial.
Get started on resolving your child’s foot problem today.
Call The Podiatrist.