Children and Orthotics
The majority of children’s feet will continue to grow, shape and form until approximately the age of 16.
Until such an age it is normal for the child’s foot to be flexible, low arched and somewhat pronated. However, if your child complains of pain, fatigue or doesn’t want or can’t participate in sports or simply play and follow their friends, you may consider to have them evaluated. There could be an underlying problem causing your child to be in pain or feel lethargic.
Because growing kids are also active, their muscles have a tendency to get strained, inflamed and sometimes injured. Soft tissue tends to grow slower than bone. Therefore it is crucial for an active child to stretch on a regular basis especially calf stretches.
Many kids complain of heel pain. It could be localized at the fascia attachment at the bottom of the heel. It could also be at the Achilles insertion at the back of the heel where sometimes we also see a bump forming (Haglund’s deformity). These conditions are usually caused by lack of stretching. Often times an orthotic is required along with a heel raise to decrease tension on the back along with an arch support to relieve stress on the fascia. Icing three times per day is also recommended to help decrease the inflammation.
If a child complains of knee pain it is usually caused by the alignment of the foot and the ankle. Because the muscles holding the arches are not fully formed or strong enough to hold, the foot will have a tendency to pronate creating stress on the knee. Another cause could be growing pains. This is usually described by the child to be a localized pain at the plateau, which is a straight bar below the articulation. Knee joint pain can also be due to an injury. Therefore an assessment and sometimes an x-ray or other images are required to determine the underlying cause for the pain.
Many parents seem surprised when their child is diagnosed with a bunion (hallux valgus). This condition is usually hereditary but caused by fallen arches and severe pronation. During the gait cycle the weight of the body sits on the big toe joint at toe off. Eventually this
strain, especially if the foot is somewhat flexible, causes
the toe to turn inward. An orthotic is usually required to
stop the pronation and to relieve the stress on the first joint. Sometimes a bunion night splint might also be recommended to try to straighten the toe before the foot is fully formed.
Consult your family physician with your questions and concerns
A 4 year old child complaining of chronic leg pain when walking. Her alignment at the ankle shows severe pronation and some in-toeing because of posterior tibialis muscle weakness and fatigue. With orthotics and supportive footwear we can achieve a better alignment. Wearing the support will allow her muscles to relax and regain strength in hopes of achieving a better alignment and decreasing strain on her joints and muscles for long term comfort.
Services for Kids Under the Age of 16
* First pair of custom molded foot ofthotic at regular price, second pair at approximately 50% off and third pair at 75% off when ordered at initial appointment
* Biomechanical report sent to family doctor and a copy for health care insurance coverage
* A four week follow-up appointment
* Adjustments as needed (During the first year of purchase – remplacement at no cost if the orthotics are non ajustable because of growth)
Check-up appoinments every 6 to 12 months – additional pairs ordered within the first 6 months at a reduced price